Mamman Lawan, who is nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as a member of the board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is embroiled in a lawsuit that raises issues of corruption, abuse of privilege and professional misconduct.
Details from the lawsuit indicate that Mr. Lawan, a law professor, had been appointed to an estate owned by Mohammed Musa before the latter’s death in February 2004. An estate administrator, who doubles as the guardian of Mr. Musa’s heirs, He was appointed to hold and manage the estate in trust for the heirs who were minors at the time of their benefactor’s death.
The lawsuit accuses Mr. Lawan of entering into a compromising relationship, akin to a professional “incest,” with the estate administrator, one Umaru Tela. The two are suspected of having connived to convert some choice properties of their late client to benefit themselves.
Mr. Musa's children, who were minors, have since come of age. On demanding a transfer of their late father’s estate to them, the Musas discovered some discrepancies between what the administrator was offering them and what was in documents available to them, evidently received years ago from Mr. Lawan.
The legal tussle suggests that, in an attempt to cover their tracks, Mr. Lawan opted to represent the embattled administrator in court, thereby abandoning his late client as well as the heirs to the estate. A lawyer who reviewed the situation told our correspondent that the law professor’s posture was “professionally disturbing.”
An investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that Mr. Lawan’s action raised “questions of integrity deficiency that call to grave question his suitability for the exalted membership of the board of an anti-corruption commission,” according to another lawyer who looked at the file.
The estate belonging to Mr. Musa's surviving eight children is valued at more than N1.5 billion. Documents made available to SaharaReporters show that the chambers of Mamman Lawan had served at several times as solicitors and company secretary to the Musa estate before the law professor made the bizarre decision to stand against the estate in court.