One of the dramatis personae in the $ 620,000 fuel subsidy bribery scandal, Hon Farouk Lawan was spotted a few days ago meeting with self professed anti-corruption crusader, Hon Dino Melaye. Street Journal’s findings have revealed that the renewed alliance between the duo may not be unconnected with renewed calls for the prosecution of both the giver and taker of the “subsidy bribe”.
Hon Lawan and his former colleague in the House were spotted last Tuesday, at Protea Hotel, Apo, Abuja. Just before midnight on Tuesday, Lawan who wore a glossy green guinea brocade kaftan was seen emerging from the lobby of the hotel in company of Hon Melaye who had a white top and a black track suit on. Both of them entered Hon Farouk Lawan’s black Mercedes Benz with registration number “ABUJA ABC 101 AH”. At about 12.03 am, a smiling and obviously happy Hon Lawan drove away unaccompanied while Melaye returned to the hotel where he spent the night. . Events that have taken place over time have confirmed that in Nigeria, only a thin line exists between corruption and those who claim to be fighting it.
Many still recall that Hon Farouk Lawan led the “Integrity Group” that championed the battle that cost former Speaker, Foluke Etteh her position.
The hunter however became the hunted when he was accused of taking bribe from Femi Otedola in order to remove his company from the list of markters who defrauded the Federal Government through subsidy claims.
The former anti-corruption czar, too is an example, just before she was appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),, Mrs. Waziri, a former head of the Anti-Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force stood surety for a former Governor who was accused of corrupt practices and facilitated the release of the politician’s international passport which was seized.
A more recent example is Hon Herman Hembe who was the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market. He led the committee that investigated the regulators in the capital market and he had a good public image until the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh fought back in the course of the probe. Hembe who had earlier told the country on national television that he and his members would “work assiduously to get the capital market back to its desirable heights” was humbled when Oteh disclosed publicly that her Commission obliged Hon Hembe his request for a First Class ticket to attend an emerging market conference in Dominican Republic. At the public hearing, she asked Hembe to tell Nigerians whether he travelled or not,
She also asked him, if he did not travel, to tell Nigerians if he has returned the money or not. Oteh alleged that the Committe Chairman had requested for N 5 million cash and some other demands for money.
Though Oteh was not without her own flaws, she however made her point clear, Hembe had no moral justification to probe her.