ASUU, National President, Ukachukwu Awuzie
By Toba Suleiman and Akinwale Akintunde
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday called for immediate prosecution of those involved in the N1.6 trillion sleaze of the oil subsidy money to save the nation from endemic corruption.
Similarly, armed policemen Monday took over the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Lagos ostensibly to forestall the protest allegedly planned by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and other civil society groups against the recently discovered N1.070 trillion fuel subsidy fraud.
But ASUU in calling for the prosecution of those indicted in the report, also advocated the immediate revocations of all the operation licenses of the firms indicted by a competent court of law in the oil subsidy massive fraud.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti (EKSU), the ASUU, National President, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie, expressed delight over the ways and manner the Hon Lawan Farouq–led House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on corruption in the fuel subsidy had unraveled how the cabals in the Oil sector , had received a sum of N999 million in about 128 times within 24 hours.
Awuzie frowned at how the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation had paid a whopping N1.9 billion to a Waste Management firm in the name of oil subsidy, which has no relevance in oil sector.
According to him, “It was disturbing to note in the report of the House that NNPC illegally collected N310 billion as subsidy for Kerosene Imports. All these and other documented instances of fraud had shown that massive corruption is still the norm among the rich and highly placed in both public and private sectors.
Worse still, the consequence of such massive corruption is shifted to the poor who are made to pay for higher prices for fuel under the guise of the withdrawal of the so called oil subsidy.”
Commenting on the recent trial and conviction of the former Delta State Governor, Mr. James Onanefe Ibori, by Southwark Crown Court in London for money laundering, Awuse described it as a big challenge to corrupt Nigerian leaders and the judiciary, which had earlier acquitted the former governor of the same charge.
ASUU said the Ibori’s conviction was a major breakthrough in the steps being taken to reduce corruption in the country.
Meanwhile, Convener of the SNG, Mr. Tunde Bakare, said they had served the Federal Government with the notice of a mass protest should it failed to prosecute all the culprits of the subsidy fraud and make refunds within a specified time.
According to him, the civil society group have started dissecting the report and that another operation ‘Occupy Nigeria' is imminent if government failed to prosecute the culprits.
He said the civil society group met last Saturday to discuss strategy for the mass protest and would make known their findings by Wednesday.
But ahead of the planned protest, the Gani Fawehinmi park has now been occupied by armed Policemen.
An armoured tank with policemen in full combat gear was stationed near the park along the service lane of the expressway.
Also, two patrol pick up vans, stationed on the other side of the park, along the road leading to the waste disposal site, were also filled with armed policemen.