25th June, 2012
Nnamdi Felix / Abuja
An advocacy group, the Public Interest Lawyers League PILL, on Monday called for the investigation and prosecution of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, alongside Hon Lawan Farouk over the raging $3 million bribery scandal rocking the legislative body.
The President of the group, Mr. Abdul Mahmud in a media briefing in Abuja said that the report produced by the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Reps, had become tainted in view of revelations that some members of the committee collected bribes from marketers.
He said his group had information that other marketers, apart from Femi Otedola, offered bribes to some members of the committee.
Mahmud said they had information that some principal officers of the House who were not members of the committee, also received bribes in connection with the probe.
According to him, “We have taken steps to establish the connection of certain principal officers of the House of Representatives to the bribe saga and have come to the irresistible conclusion, based on the facts within our knowledge, that the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, was connected to the bribe scandal and he has a case to answer.”
Already, PILL had written to the Special Task Force, the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House of Reps, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission asking them to interrogate Ihedioha. Copies of the letters were made available to the press.
In the letter to the Task Force, the group asked the police to widen the scope of investigation in the Farouk Lawan’s bribe saga to include a comprehensive look into the activities and the role of the Deputy Speaker of the House.
He said the organisation is requesting that Ihedioha be investigated based on, “the facts within our knowledge and in the public domain that point irrevocably to the Deputy Speaker as the inside power figure in the House under whose cover his accomplices, who are members of the House and of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Management of the Oil Subsidy Scheme, operated.”
While urging the police to arrest and interrogate Ihedioha, Mahmud said that the public confidence in the House had declined and that the only way to get the people to trust the House was to prosecute those who collected bribes.
According to him, the Farouk Lawan bribery saga provides the country with an opportunity to cleanse the House of Reps and redeem its image in the interest of the country.