31 January 2013

Nigeria: PRONACO Threatens Mass Action Against FG Over Lawan

The advocacy unit of the Pro-National Conference (PRONACO), Citizens Advocacy Group (CAG), has threatened to mobilise Nigerians against any attempt by government to neutralise the report of the Farouk Lawan-led committee on the fuel subsidy scam on the account of the bribe allegation by Mr. Femi Otedola against the committee.

Commenting on the bribery saga yesterday in Lagos, PRONACO spokesperson, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, said: "Both the alleged bribe giver, Otedola, and the alleged taker, Lawan, are culpable under Nigerian law and international convention."

He also called on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke to immediately commence prosecution of the case.

He described as unfortunate a situation where a bribery scandal, which has been in the open and known to government, yet the attorney general and the police have failed to institute charges against those involved in the issue, in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

"What we observed here is that having deliberately rubbished the report of the House of Representatives on the fuel subsidy scam, the Federal Government is now trying to sweep the prosecution of the bribery saga, involving one of its principal agents under the carpet, thereby portraying the Nigerian government as promoting and condoning fraud.

"We also suspect that the Nigerian Government seems to be more concerned about shielding the characters in the scandal; otherwise, strong legal action should have been taken on the investigative report and prima facie case established on the alleged bribery scandal presented to the Office of the Attorney General since August 2012 by the police," he said.

Okunniyi said that a copy of the police report into the alleged bribery scam was sent to the AGF and the police had indeed drafted charges for modification and immediate action by the AGF, but the AGF had failed to commence prosecution of the duo without a public explanation.

"Therefore, any attempt by government to be unjust in this matter will be tabled before the central committee of the National Action Coalition (NAC) and would be met with heavy resistance as it is the responsibility of government to eliminate corruption and fraud in the Nigerian body polity.

"The Federal Government must end the tradition of fraud and cover up of corruption involving its allies and high profile Nigerians and must take the fight against corruption and bribery seriously before they destroy everybody," he stated.

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