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House of Reps insists on Jonathan, blasts Otedola

House of Reps insists on Jonathan, blasts Otedola

ABUJA—The House of Representatives, yesterday, insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan must honour the chamber’s  invitation for the purpose of throwing more light on the security situation in the country.

Also sacked House of Representatives ad hoc comittee chairman on petroleum subsidy regime, Rep. Farouk Lawan, who is facing Police investigations for alleged $620,000 bribe, yesterday, went spiritual.

In a briefing on Thursday, Rep Zakari Mohammed said, the House is constitutionally empowered to invite Mr President “after all he had also invited us in the past.”

Lawan in an interview said that his travails were endorsed by God and that at the end of the investigation he would be vindicated.

Lawan was accused by the chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr Femi Otedola of collecting $620,000 of the $3m he demanded to have his firm exonerated from the subsidy sleaze. Police have so far recovered $10,000 of the bribe money while he is expected to produce the remaining $610,000 before the end of the week.

Meanwhile the House has said that Otedola is as guilty as Lawan in the bribery scandal. Reacting to a statement credited to Otedola that last week’s emergency session by the House where it asked anti-graft agencies to investigate his firm’s forex transaction was a celebration of corruption, spokesman of the House Hon Zakari Mohammed, argued that such comment from businessman was unfortunate and irresponsible.

On the invitation of President Goodluck Jonathan over worsening insecurity in the country, Zakari submitted that contrary to claims in some quarters that the invitation was unconstitutional the House acted within its powers. He said: “the constitution gives the House the power to invite anybody if we are conducting any investigation”.

He explained that the silence on the date the President should appear before the lawmakers was to allow President Jonathan choose a date that would be convenient to him.

It would be recalled that the House had on Tuesday via a House resolution invited the president to come and explain the security situation in Nigeria.

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