Former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
A human rights activist, Mr. Kayode Ajulo has disagreed with an alleged decision of the police authorities to put on hold trial of the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan, over the $620,000 bribery scandal.
Voicing his concern Sunday in a statement made available to THISDAY, Ajulo who is also a legal practitioner, described the reports of police to wait for the legal advice of the Attorney-General as tantamount to double standard.
“The alleged report that the police was waiting for the Attorney-General’s legal advice on Lawan’s bribery scandal is rather unfortunate as it has no basis in the Nigerian jurisprudence. As a lawyer, I saw the police position on this as double standard based on the personalities involved,” he said.
The activist said by the nature and form of the bribery case, it is quite clear that the police and even the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have constitutional powers to prosecute the matter.
“Here is a case of bribery and graft which in ‘stricto sensus’ does not require the AGF’s legal advice. In normal circumstance, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) is empowered by the ICPC Act to take up the investigation and prosecution of the case without any recourse to the AGF.
“The matter nevertheless is common criminal offence provided for in our penal/criminal code. One therefore wondered if every common case of graft is sent to the AGF for legal advice, how many of such cases will be prosecuted.”
Ajulo said it is imperative that the desirable is done to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.