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Anyim walks out of House of Representatives hearing session after hot exchange with lawmakers



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  • Asserts Hon Hembe solicited bribe, on revenge mission

Pius Anyim, a former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), left the House of Representatives angrily and abruptly on Friday, following heated arguments with the committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He had honoured the summons of the committee, which is investigating the over $18 billion Centenary City project under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Bala Mohammed, the immediate past minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), was also in the green chamber.

Herman Hembe, Chairman of the of the Committee, alleged several infractions in ‎the agreement signed by the office of the SGF and management of the Centenary City Company Plc.

According to him, the spirit of the said agreement violated the ‎federal government gazette on land swap programme, which ought to be the guideline for the project.

The committee also established that the former minister signed the right of occupancy and the certificate of occupancy of the land on the same day in violation of provisions of the gazette.

According to Hembe, the lifespan of the project implementation as contained in the gazette should be between 24 to 48 months as against 60-120 weeks stated in the contractual agreement.

He also noted that the private developers were not allowed to sell any portion of the land until it attains 35 percent development level, but the company was also granted a waiver in that regard.

The chairman added that that there was no evidence that the company paid the 15 percent of 18 billion dollars expected as initial payment for the development of the city.

Responding, Anyim accused  Hembe of “deep-seated personal bias”, and demanded that he should resign from the panel, and allow his deputy take over.

He also alleged that Hembe was conducting the hearing to pursue personal vendetta, saying the chairman had pushed for the sack of a former Director-General of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh .

Anyim alleged that Hembe solicited bribe from him, but that he did not give in to his demand.

At this point, the atmosphere became rowdy, as members of the committee started protesting.


When calm was restored, Anyim continued with the allegations.

“Mr chairman, what I expect is that I should be able to state my position and you rule,” he said.

“Mr Chairman I said one, you have told everybody who cared to listen that when the former DG of Security and Exchange Commission accused you of demanding bribe from her, you pushed for her to be sacked and I refused to sack her while I was SGF and this is an opportunity to pay me back,” he said.

“Mr Chairman I will not allow you to use the national assembly platform to pursue personal vendetta. It is unacceptable and I will not submit to it. All I am asking for is fair hearing.

“You have been threatening to conduct this public hearing for over a year now, in fact you ended last year with it, and this year you started with it. You scheduled it for January 27, but later moved it to February 1, and now moved it to February 3.

“Mr Chairman, we only discovered your game plan for all the postponement, when you started sending message to the managing director of the project to see you privately, and it was after all your efforts to get the managing director to see you privately failed, that you confirmed this date.

“I want you know that nobody will see you privately, and we are here for the hearing, and we will have the hearing.

“I am convinced that Mr chairman has a deep-seated personal bias in this matter and he is not going to give a fair hearing to my self, to the centenary city management and the entire matter, I accordingly demand that Mr chairman should disqualify himself and vice-chairman take over and let us continue.”

On his part, Hembe said he would not allow Anyim usurp his position as chairman of the committee.

He expressed dismay that the SGF accused him of being biased, even before the probe began.

“Let me say that we are a house of laws. We are a house of order. We are a house of due process. Let me just say it to former president of the senate and former SGF that in my opening remarks I have tried to show you courtesy,” the FCT chairman said.

“Please don’t interrupt. As far as this hearing is concerned, I am chairman, and I will not allow you usurp that position.

“I have shown you respect. I even made a comment at the beginning, which I ought not to have made by saying that ‘It was brought to my attention in certain quarters that we shouldn’t have invited the former senate president to a hearing like this, out of sheer respect’.


“Now, before we started the process, Mr former senate president, you have begun to input bias without knowing what we are doing here.

“We haven’t said a word, we haven’t even introduced the probe and you already in putting bias, I’d like to ask you to hold your horse. Let me finish. Don’t interrupt me! Don’t interrupt me! Let me finish! Sit down! Sit down!

“I am a little dismayed that someone who was invited for this programme, felt he ought not to be invited.”

Though the hearing continued, Anyim took his leave.

Thereafter, the committee adjourned hearing to Tuesday.