The House of Representatives was momentarily unsettled when a member Simon Arabo at yesterday’s plenary condemned the secret investigative hearing by the Lower House Ethics and Privilege Committee. The committee was setup to investigate the bribery allegation leveled against the erstwhile subsidy probe Chair, Farouk Lawan by oil mogul, Femi Otedola.
Raising a point of order bordering on privilege, Arabo questioned the House Ethics Chairman, Gambo Dan-Musa for his use of uncouth language in the verbal spat that followed Tuesday’s insistence by Otedola on a public hearing against the panel’s decision to hold the hearing in secret.
According to the lawmaker, the investigative method and verbal spat that followed was capable of rubbishing the credibility of the assignment before the ethics committee.
Arabo said, “In carrying out an assignment of such magnitude, you do not make such comments. The parliament does not stand to lose anything if the testimony of Otedola is taken in public,” The lawmaker stated at Thursday’s plenary.
Ruling on the point of order, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha who presided over the session mandated the Lower House Chief Whip, Ishiaka Bawa to liaise with the Committee on Ethics and Privileges on the matter and report back to the House.
Meanwhile, Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe was yesterday questioned by the House of Representatives Committee on the Ministry of Niger Delta for spending beyond the quarterly releases for the 2012 budget of the Ministry.
The Committee noted during a 2012 budget implementation meeting between the two parties that extra expenditure were made in some subheads, where releases made by the Ministry of Finance in the last two quarters of the year were less and wanted to know where the extra money was sourced from.