BENEATH THE MASK…THE RISE AND FALL OF FAROUK LAWAN

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•HOW MR. INTEGRITY FELL TO DISHONOUR
The art of deception is indeed, a strenuous exercise, for those who are poor at it in particular. The latter are extremely poor at keeping up with their lies. When the truth finally catches up with them, it leaves a bitter taste for those who had to eat their words. Ask Farouk Lawan, he knows better. Until he was caught in the controversy of the bribe money he allegedly demanded from popular oil magnate, Femi Otedola, Lawan was popularly known as Mr. Integrity in the House of Representatives. He had championed the removal of Nigeria’s first female Speaker, Patricia Etteh, over an allegation that she misappropriated public funds.

With such honest posturing and anti-corruption and stance, Lawan effortlessly inspired the fear of his corrupt peers and admiration of a large segment of the electorate. But all that faded into thin air immediately the lid got blown off his dirty secret; even the Honourable Farouk Lawan was corrupt. Thus there was no hiding place for the lawmaker when he was fingered in a bribery scandal involving Otedola during an oil subsidy probe.

Times have indeed changed for the diminutive lawmaker. His enviable fortune has morphed into misfortune. From being a high ranking member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Ad Hoc House Committee on Oil Subsidy Probe, Lawan’s reputation and political career suffered rapid decline. Soon after he was accused of taking bribe by Otedola, Lawan who was being wooed to contest for the Kano governorship seat in 2015 by the political powerbrokers in the state was deserted and left out of the state’s power equation. In addition to the misfortune that has befallen him lately, Lawan lost the 2015 House of Representatives contest.