Presidency - Leave Jonathan out of scandal
Leave Jonathan out of scandal.
President Goodluck Jonathan has asked to be left out of the House of Representatives’ cash-for-clearance scandal.
Dr. Jonathan noted that he has no reason or desire to meddle in the affairs of the House of Representatives and its leadership.
The President, according to a statement issued by presidential spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, described as false and baseless the
insunuation that the executive plans to unseat the leadership of the House.
The Presidency said attempts to drag it into the matter are entirely speculative and without factual foundation
The statement reads:
“The Presidency has denounced the lame and diversionary attempt by some newspapers to drag the person and office of the President into the very unsavoury bribery scandal involving the Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Fuel Subsidy Probe Ad-Hoc Committee and a well-known petroleum products marketer.
“The mischievous insinuation in today’s editions of the newspapers that the entire affair, in which the two key players have publicly confessed their roles, is part of a plot by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the executive arm of government to unseat the leadership of the House of Representatives, is totally false and baseless.
“For the benefit of unwary members of the public who may be deceived by the political innuendoes now being woven into the subsidy probe bribe affair, President Jonathan wishes to affirm that he has absolutely no reason or desire to meddle in the affairs of the House of Representatives and its leadership.
“Neither the President nor anyone acting on his request or order has anything to do with the scandal that has sadly engulfed the House ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy. The attempt to drag the Presidency into the matter is entirely speculative and without factual foundation.
“Against the background of its avowed commitment to the effective prosecution of the war against corruption in Nigeria, the Presidency notes with satisfaction, that given the seriousness of the scandal, the House of Representatives has already recalled its members from recess for a special session to deliberate on it tomorrow.
“The Presidency, therefore, urges the media to allow members of the House and law enforcement agencies to conduct and conclude investigations without further unhelpful distractions.
“Recent developments notwithstanding, President Jonathan’s directive to the Attorney-General of the Federation on the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, as adopted by the House of Representatives, subsists and he fully expects that all those indicted in the report will be duly investigated and prosecuted, if a prima facie case is established against them.”
But the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan is aware of the $620, 000 bribe allegedly collected by Hon. Farouk Lawan.
SNG spokesman Yinka Odumakin said: “The probe is bound to collapse.
“The issue is about a house of corruption wanting to preserve itself. The report touches the major artery of corruption in Nigeria and it was going to be terminal.
“A rearguard attempt succeeded in planting a bribe on Farouk through a major player in the oil industry by the ruling party. It is the same script used in the power probe where Ndidi Elumelu committee’s N5.2 billion malfeasances were used to bury $16 billion scam.
“We are wiser now. We will get to the bottom of Otedola-Lawan saga without brushing aside the $20 billion subsidy theft that led to all this. That all those involved in the subsidy scam have been shielded so far while the Presidency is busy showing video of a subplot clearly shows what this is designed to achieve. The President is aware of the $620, 000 bribe,” he said.
A member of the House of Representatives, Jerry Alagbaoso, denied that he assisted the embattled chairman of the ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy regime, Farouk Lawan, to collect money from oil marketers. The lawmaker, in a statement, took exception to publications linking his name with Lawan as well as the ad hoc committee. He said he was neither a member of the committee nor a front for Lawan.
The lawmaker said: “I wish to state that I am neither a member of the ad hoc committee on oil subsidy investigations nor a front man to its chairman cum any member(s) as written or implied by the Lawyers League and that the said publication is malicious and the handiwork of political traducers and detractors aimed at tarnishing my hard earned reputation which was built over the years.”
Presidency - Leave Jonathan out of scandal.
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