Nigeria security services are implying that the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Monitoring of the Fuel Subsidy regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan could be in court any moment now following result of investigations into a bribe he initiated on the eve of the submission of reports on oil subsidy.
The former Subsidy Committee Chairman was on Tuesday night barred from travelling out of the country at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
He was sighted at the Airport last night making series of phone calls, apparently to higher authorities in desperation seeking for every opportunity to be allowed for the journey to perform the lesser hajj. It was not clear if he had his way and traveled eventually.
Reliable sources in the SSS only confirmed that the decision to bar Lawan from travelling stemmed from the fact that he is considered a flight risk and might seize the opportunity to flee the country in order to avoid arrest and arraignment into the case. It was not clear in the same vein if the recommendation of the police report had been leaked to him and he was using the Hajj as a cover up to escape from the country.
It has been reported that the House of Reps member is likely to appear in Court any moment now charged for breach of nation’s trust , corruption and abuse of office.
Lawan has been under investigation for collecting $500,000 (as deposit for a $3million bride) from the Chairman, Zenon Petroleum & Gas Ltd, Mr. Femi Otedola, to doctor the report of the House ad hoc committee, was scheduled to board an Emirates Airline flight en route to Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser Hajj when he was stopped by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) at the airport and prevented from leaving the country.
Lawan, media gathered, was very embarrassed when he was informed by the SSS that he would not be allowed to travel and was seen frantically making phone calls to what was believed to be “highly placed people in government” to help him out of his predicament.
Reliable sources in the SSS confirmed that the decision to bar Lawan from travelling stemmed from the fact that he is considered a flight risk and might seize the opportunity to flee the country in order to avoid arrest and arraignment.
As at press time, it wasn’t certain if Lawan eventually got his way and was allowed to travel or not.
THISDAY had exclusively reported that the police had concluded their investigation into the cash-for-clearance scandal involving Lawan and the clerk to the ad hoc committee, Mr. Boniface Emanalo, and had forwarded their report to the Legal Department for advice.
It was learnt that the police investigative team, headed by Ali Amodu, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Task Force, was able to gather incriminating evidence which would be used to prosecute Lawan and Emenalo in court.
A source told media that in its response, the Police Legal Department recommended the trial of the duo.
Having finished their investigation, the police have sent the case file to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke for his consideration, preparatory to Lawan’s arraignment.
Adoke, it was gathered, is studying the case file and would take a decision this week on whether the police, which investigated the allegation, have enough evidence to sustain a trial in court.