AN embarrassed Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has vowed to unravel the circumstances leading to the $600,000 (N96 million) cash allegedly given by an oil baron to a member of the committee set up by the Lower Chamber to probe the fuel subsidy regime.
Tambuwal was said to have declared that the lawmaker, who hails from the North, will not escape the hammer of the leadership of the House and prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should he be found guilty of receiving the bribe.
It was learnt that the scandal, “which is now the major topic of discussion in powerful circles in Abuja” has, according to a source, “rubbished the works done by the Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy”.
The source said: “In fact, there is a video going from one place to the other on how our so-called respected lawmaker collected the $600,000 from one of the oil barons in the country who hails from the South. They met in Abuja and the money was given to the lawmaker so that the name of the oil baron will not be mentioned during the probe.
“But, unknown to the duo, security agents had already gotten wind of the deal and followed them. Everything they did was monitored and recorded. It was a former Head of State who revealed the secret to the Speaker and now, everybody is aware of this scandal.
How this lawmaker will escape the hammer is still not known because even his colleagues in the committee are campaigning for his prosecution now. He did not disclose to them that he collected the money from the oil baron. So, they have left him to his fate”.
He said the lawmaker collected the money to influence the report of the panel to favour the oil baron.
The House leadership was said to be rattled over the revelation, “especially this time around when we should be celebrating one year in office”.
The affected member had since been moving around to suppress the disgrace that may come out of this by appealing to some powerful members of the Lower Chamber to talk to Tambuwal on the matter
To this end, the House has concluded plans to set up an investigative panel to look into this allegation and come up with its report which would be available to the public.
While confirming this, the spokesperson of the House and the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed, said: “while we await investigation into these weighty accusations, we wish to state without equivocation that this Honourable House will never take side with corruption and we will always stand on the side of the rule of law”.
“These accusations, what ever their merits, do not detract from the quality of the work done by the committee. The report of that committee was adopted by the whole House and we stand by the resolutions of the House.
“The present House of Representatives will not relent in it's efforts to render quality legislation and oversight functions to Nigerians. Today, we are gradually beginning to see the end of this monstrosity that has bedeviled our progress as a nation for so long.
“We hope that the Executive will not, because of this allegation, abandon it's commitment towards bringing to justice, the culprits already identified in the committee's report”.