Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has called for the immediate prosecution of House of Representatives members, Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emeluno, for collecting a bribe of N93,000,000 ($620,000) to cover for oil dealer, Femi Otedola, whose companies were indicted in the oil subsidy scam.
Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said he is compelled to make this call after both politicians made confessional statements to the police that indicted them for bribe taking.
“In their separate statements, they confessed that they collected the bribe of $620,000 from Mr. Femi Otedola. Indeed, Honourable Lawan further revealed that he had informed the EFCC that he was under pressure to collect the bribe,” Mr. Falana said.
The activist lawyer said the police had since concluded its investigation and handed the case to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke. No reason has been given why the accused have not been arraigned in court even after the AGF had appointed a prosecutor for that purpose.
Mr. Falana also noted that punitive measures taken against the duo by the House are indicative of their guilt.
“Embarrassed by the scandal the House of Representatives restored Mr Otedola’s companies to the list of indicted companies, removed Honourable Lawan and Honourable Boniface Emeluno from the House Committee on the fuel subsidy scam. Furthermore, Honourable Lawan was suspended as the Chairman of the Education Committee of the House pending the conclusion of police investigation. The cock and bull story of Honourable Lawan that he collected the bribe to implicate Mr Otedola did not impress the House which referred the scandal to the Ethics Committee of the House for further investigation,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Falana, however, wondered why the committee is yet to publish its report even after finishing its assignment several months ago.
He berated law enforcement agencies for selective enforcement.
“Honourable Herman Hembe and Honourable Chris Azubogu, who were alleged to have diverted the sum of $4,095 (less than N5m), illegally collected from the Nigerian Security Exchange Commission were promptly charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“Since what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander messrs Lawan and Emenulo should be charged to court without any further delay,” he said.
He also called for the prosecution of Mr. Otedola, the bribe giver.