The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has raised alarm over an alleged plot to use the unfolding bribery scandal involving the chairman of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc committee on Fuel Subsidy, Hon. Faruk Lawan, as an excuse to oust the current leadership of the House of Representatives. CISLAC in a statement issued to the media pointed accusing fingers at both topnotchers of the executive arm of government and some fuel importers who were, according to the CISLAC never comfortable with the way the present leadership of the House of Representatives conducted its legislative business.
The statement which was signed by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani maintained that “An offence allegedly committed by an individual member should not be used as an excuse to create another crisis in the House of Representatives.
“And if indeed those agitating for the use of an individual’s alleged misdeed to oust the present set of leadership of the House are sincere, they should as well call for the resignation of President Goodluck Jonathan for overseeing a regime in which trillions of naira was siphoned in various scams, including the N1.7 trillion subsidy fraud.”
CISLAC suspects complicity on the part of the Presidency in the current move to remove the current leadership by sponsoring some faceless groups to call for the resignation of the Speaker. This move, the organization suspects is aimed at achieving a twofold agenda of discarding the recommendations emanating from the fuel subsidy probe committee’s report as well as remove the leadership of the lower chamber which the executive had considered too independent and assertive.
“The 7th session of the House of Representatives is arguably the best session of the National Assembly since 1999. The leadership has been honest and meticulous while the House has always sided with the position of the larger population.
“We are witnesses to how the House handled the probe into the collapse of the capital market and quickly disbanded the earlier committee when it emerged that there was dishonesty and bribe allegations on the committee.”, the statement reads in part.
The House leadership, according CISLAC, should remain firm, committed and should not allow any intimidation and blackmail to deter it from performing its constitutional role.
“Lawmaking, representation, constituency outreach and oversight/ probe are functions of the National Assembly as enshrined in the constitution.Therefore, no amount of threat and intimidation should blackmail credible lawmakers from exercising their legislative duties” CISLAC charged.
Also,CISLAC called on the House leadership to categorically come out and dissociate itself from any wrongdoing and let any member involved in any unethical conduct face the wrath of the law as it has done in the case of Hon Hembe former chairman of the capital market probe .
The House leadership may however truly be in trouble if ,reports today that at least one of the top leaders might be aware of the bribe Lawan got from Femi Otedola of Zenon Oil, turn out to be true.An emergency meeting of the House has reportedly been fixed for Friday this week in order to thrash out the unfolding issues.