14 February 2014, Abuja – For the second time in about four months, consideration of the Malabu Oil report in the House of Representatives suffered a setback as some lawmakers disagreed on the mandate of the committee that carried out the investigation.
The report was laid on the floor of the House early July last year but could not be considered immediately.
When the report was eventually listed on the Order Paper for consideration in October last year, the lawmakers adjourned sitting before getting to the item.
The report never came up for consideration since October until yesterday.
However, shortly after House leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, moved for the report to be considered, Rep Robinson Uwak (PDP, Akwa Ibom) observed that the committee did not work based on its terms and references.
He said the ad-hoc committee was asked to find out if there was any breach of the Code of Conduct and anti-corruption laws violations in the contract, but said there was no mention of such in the report, calling for the committee to revisit its work.
However, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, ruled that since the report consideration had not yet started, the lawmaker should reserve his observation.
But Uwak raised the same point of order when Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, began to preside for the consideration.
Ihedioha therefore invited rules and business committee chairman, Sam Tsokwa, for clarification.
Tsokwa explained that since the report was presented without any member of the committee opposing its outcome, and that Rep Uwak was not a member of the committee, the consideration could go on based on the House rules.
However, some lawmakers raised concern that the consideration of the report was not listed on the House’s schedule for the week and wondered how it was “smuggled” into yesterday’s Order Paper.
Ihedioha therefore ruled that the report consideration be deferred to next Tuesday before which members must be given a copy each.
The Malabu oil deal has been in the media following the transaction involving the Federal Government and Shell/Agip Companies and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of oil block OPL 245.
– Daily Trust