President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday distanced himself from the $3 million cash-for-clearance scandal rocking the House of Representatives as well as insinuations that it was a plot by the presidency to sack the speaker, Hon. Waziri Aminu Tambuwal.
Jonathan, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, called the speculations about his involvement in a move to change the House leadership over the bribery scandal as totally false and baseless.
He said the two principal actors in the scandal, Chairman, House Ad hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Fuel Subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan, and Chairman, Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola, had explained their roles in the saga and none had fingered him in the deal. A civil society group, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), had accused the presidency on Wednesday of wanting to use the scandal as an excuse to impeach the House leadership.
CISLAC Executive Director, Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, who signed the statement, said it would be wrong to judge the House leadership based on an offence allegedly committed by a lawmaker.
The statement said the president had not wavered in his commitment to ensure that those found culpable in the mismanagement of the fuel subsidy funds face the full wrath of the law as demonstrated by his earlier directive to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, to prosecute anyone indicted by the ad hoc committee report.
The president said he had no interest in the matter nor plans to meddle in the affairs of the House and asked to be left out of the intricate web being woven by political jobbers which he considers unsavoury.