Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, February 08, 2013

Rule of law in Nigeria

The journalistic reports boil this case down to "he said" vs "he said." Can the Nigerian court system sort out the evidence to reach a verdict?

Nigerian Farouk Lawan charged over $3m fuel scam 'bribe'
The Nigerian MP who headed an inquiry which found that a fuel subsidy scam had cost the country $6.8bn (£4.2bn) has been charged with corruption.

Farouk Lawan
Farouk Lawan is alleged to have collected $500,000 of a $3m bribe solicited from an oil tycoon to drop his company from the investigation.

The legislator pleaded not guilty in court and was taken into custody until a bail hearing on 8 February.

His supporters say he is being targeted by those implicated in his probe…

The oil billionaire, Femi Otedola, has alleged the lawmaker demanded the $3m bribe in order to have his company, Zenon, removed from a list of those involved in the scandal.

Part of that money was handed over and a video recording of the transaction was given to police, he said…

Mr Lawan has said he accepted the money in order to expose blackmail and informed the committee and the anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), about it.

But the committee's deputy leader says he was not informed and nor did not he receive any of the money. The EFCC has not commented on the affair.

The initial fuel subsidy report said Zenon owed more than $1m to the government.

Legislators later voted to remove the firm from the final report.

Mr Otedola is a close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan and a major financier of the ruling People's Democratic Party.

Femi Otedola and President Jonathan
Subsidy Fraud - ICPC Arraigns Farouk, Emenalo Tomorrow
The Federal Government has finally succumbed to pressure and entered a 7-count criminal charge against the erstwhile Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawal.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, will tomorrow, dock the embattled lawmaker alongside the former Secretary of the fuel subsidy probe Committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo.

The duo will appear before an Abuja High Court to enter their plea to the charge which accused them of demanding and collecting bribe from the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, oil mogul, Femi Otedola, as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime…

Further attached to the charge sheet… were names and addresses of witnesses, proof of evidence as well as a list of exhibits against the lawmakers…

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