It is more than six months now that the scandal broke regarding the collection of $620,000 US dollars by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Farouk Lawan from Mr. Femi Otedola, a private businessman, for the purpose of doctoring his Committee’s report relating to the fuel subsidy scam probe by the House of Representatives.
After collecting the money, (which he did not deny collecting), Farouk Lawan actually stood up on the floor of the House and performed the act for which he collected the money.
Till today, Farouk Lawan is yet to produce the said money before the Police investigators, fuelling the speculation and suspicion that the money has been spent. The case is as simple and straight forward as this.
However, what ought to be a simple and straightforward matter has since assumed an absurd dimension. The Police and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation have traded blames back and forth as to what is actually happening. The public has been treated to all sorts of shameless and obvious attempts to drag the investigation into the murky water of politics instead of treating at purely as a crime.
For the avoidance of doubt, the impression the Police has created that it is the office of the Attorney-General alone that can give it directives to charge the matter to court is complete nonsense. The law presently as espoused by the Supreme Court in the case ofFRN Vs. OSAHON (2006) 5 NWLR PT (Pt. 973) 361, says that the Police and other law-enforcement agencies can directly charge matters to court without the consent or fiat of the Attorney-general of the Federation or of any State. The Attorney-General can only intervene by taking over to continue or discontinue the proceedings. What, then, is the Police waiting for?
The real intention is to make the public forget about the matter and for us to move on with our lives. I will not forget.
Consequently, I have taken it upon myself as a responsible citizen to bring Farouk Lawan to justice. By this release (a copy of which I am forwarding to the Inspector-General of Police with a covering letter), I expect that Farouk Lawanand his cohorts in the House of Representatives should be arraigned before a court of law within ONE WEEK of this release.
As for Otedola, I have made my position VERY CLEAR from the beginning that HE COMMITTED NO OFFENCE AT ALL. A MAN WHO REPORTS AN ATTEMPT AT A CRIME TO THE AUTHORITIES AND PLAYS ALONG TO CATCH THE OFFENDER, COMMMITS NO CRIME. EVEN LAYMEN KNOW THIS POSITION OF THE LAW.
If, the Police fail, refuse and/or neglect to arraign Farouk Lawan within the stipulated time, I will have no other option than to proceed to court to bring him to justice.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.