Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Farouk Lawan: Festus Keyamo Gives Police One-Week Ultimatum
Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo has threated to personally commence the prosecution of Representative Farouk Lawan and his cohorts in the House of Representatives if the police fail to arraign them before a court of law in the next one week.
In a statement today, Keyamo recalled that it is over six months the scandal broke regarding the collection of $620,000 US dollars by Lawan from businessman Femi Otedola in order to doctor his Committee’s report relating to the fuel subsidy scam probe by the House.
“After collecting the money, (which he did not deny collecting), Farouk Lawan actually stood up on the floor of the House and performed the act for which he collected the money,” the statement said.
“As for Otedola, I have made my position VERY CLEAR from the beginning that HE COMMITTED NO OFFENCE AT ALL. A MAN WHO REPORTS AN ATTEMPT AT A CRIME TO THE AUTHORITIES AND PLAYS ALONG TO CATCH THE OFFENDER, COMMMITS NO CRIME. EVEN LAYMEN KNOW THIS POSITION OF THE LAW,” the statement said.
Keyamo pointed out that up till today, Mr. Lawan is yet to produce the said money before the Police investigators, fuelling the speculation and suspicion that the money has been spent.
He noted that what ought to be a simple and straightforward matter has assumed an absurd dimension as the Police and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation have traded blames back and forth as to what is actually happening.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the impression the Police has created that it is the office of the Attorney-General alone that can give it directives to charge the matter to court is complete nonsense. The law presently as espoused by the Supreme Court in the case of FRN Vs. OSAHON (2006) 5 NWLR PT (Pt. 973) 361, says that the Police and other law-enforcement agencies can directly charge matters to court without the consent or fiat of the Attorney-general of the Federation or of any State. The Attorney-General can only intervene by taking over to continue or discontinue the proceedings. What, then, is the Police waiting for?”
The lawyer said the real intention is to make the public forget about the matter and for us to move on with our lives.
“I will not forget,” Keyamo warned.
He said that by his release, a copy of which he was forwarding to the Inspector-General of Police with a covering letter, he expected that Mr. Lawan and his cohorts in the House will be arraigned before a court of law within one week.
“If the Police fail refuse and/or neglect to arraign Farouk Lawan within the stipulated time, I will have no other option than to proceed to court to bring him