30 July 2012

Nigeria: Faroukgate - Police Explains Delay in Prosecution of Suspects

The Nigeria Police have explained the delay in prosecuting suspects in the bribery allegation trailing the former Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan and a businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola on the need to carefully gather required facts.

In a televised programme monitored in Lagos at the weekend, spokesman of the Police, Mr. Frank Mba said that the police had not abandoned the case; rather they were trying to ascertain the level of complicity of the two actors before going ahead with their arraignment.

Mba, however, was not categorical on whether the force was in possession of video or audio evidences relating to the case but stated that his organisation would not rush to court and bungle the case just to please the public.

He admitted that the general public has brought to bear, immense pressure on the force regarding the way the issue was being guarded; Mba, however, said that the decision to thread softly was based on the need to get to the root of the matter.

"Regarding this issue, the police must be at their right element and that is what we are trying to do. When we are treating this case, we must also be guarded by the rules of the need to know, we must know the things to tell the public and the ones to withhold." Mba said.

He, however, admitted that the case has even become delayed owing to the calibre of the people involved whom he described as educated, powerful and influential, and said that the police have been very discreet in the way they have handled the matter so far.

"More than ever before, the current leadership of the police wants to be more transparent in its approach to issues. We know that it is in our interest to do a good job and to ensure that if we take a decision (on the issue) today, we are taking an informed decision." Mba said.

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