Tambuwal Sacks Lawan From Committee Chairmanship

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The embattled chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Hon Farouk Lawan has been sacked from his post as the Chairman, House Committee on Education by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Tambuwal announced the appointment of Aminu Suleiman (PDP, Kano) as the substantive chairman of the committee as replacement for Lawan, who is currently facing trial for allegedly receiving a bribe of $620,000 from oil magnate, Femi Otedola.

Tambuwal also appointed deputy chairmen for six other committees.

Until his appointment, Sulaiman was the deputy chairman of the committee on labour and productivity while Rose Okoh (PDP, Cross River), deputy chairman of the Education  committee had been operating in acting capacity.

Tambuwal said the appointment takes immediate effect.

Farouk Lawan’s troubles started after he was indicted by billionaire oil marketer, Chief Femi Otedola who accused him of demanding a $3m bribe from him to facilitate the removal of his companies: Zenon Oil and Synopsis International from the list of erring companies in the subsidy regime, out of which  $620,000 was paid. He was suspended then at a special plenary of the House in June 2012, after being stripped of his position as chairman committee on education as well as chairman of the subsidy probe committee pending the outcome of the investigation of its committee on ethics and privileges.

Though the ethics and privileges committee had concluded its assignment since last year, it is yet to submit its findings to the House.

With this latest development, Lawan who has been in the House since 1999 would remain as a floor member. Efforts by our correspondent to ascertain whether the speaker’s action was based on the findings of the ethics and privileges committee were however not successful.

Lawan is presently being prosecuted for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribe for the purpose of compromising facts on the oil subsidy management in the country.

It was learnt  that Tambuwal’s sacking of Lawan may not be unconnected with the resolve of  the House leadership to purge itself of anything that might dent the image of the House.

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