22 March 2013, ABUJA — Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal yesterday sacked the suspended Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Farouk Lawan, from the position of Chairman, House Committee on Education.
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. Rose Okoh (PDP, Cross River), deputy chairman of the Education committee had been operating in acting capacity.
Tambuwal said the appointment is with immediate effect.
Farouk Lawan was suspended at a special plenary of the House in June 2012, after billionaire oil marketer, Chief Femi Otedola alleged that the former chairman collected $620,000 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.
The House had temporarily stripped Lawan 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.
With this development, Lawan who has been in the House since 1999 would remain as a floor member. The ethics and privileges committee had concluded its assignment since last year but has not submitted its findings to the House.
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.