The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday demanded the trial of both the giver of the $620,000 bribe rocking the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Otedola and the alleged taker, Mr. Farouk Lawan, who is the Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management.
But the National Youth Council of Nigeria (Kaduna chapter) warned the executive arm against dumping of the report because of the allegation against Lawan.
NANS, which made its position known in a statement in Abuja by its President, Comrade Dauda Mohammed said it was shocked by the bribery allegations.
The statement reads: “The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) received with shock recent revelations bordering on the dealings involving the Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on Fuel subsidy probe, Hon Farouk Lawan. We were shocked not only because of the conduct of Hon Lawan as an ad hoc committee chairman but rather because of the esteem regards we have had in the past for Hon. Lawan as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education.
“There is no doubt that Nigerians were excited by the decision of the House of Representatives to entrust such responsibility in the hand of a man who have always worn the toga of Integrity in the National Assembly.
“With the revelations of the last few days concerning the alleged bribery of Hon Farouk Lawan by a businessman, Mr.Femi Otedola, we wish to state that Nigeria has been taken miles back in our quest for role modeling for the younger generation of Nigerians.
“As an organisation, we want to categorically state our opposition to any act of corruption as this has remained a major impediment to our quest for development as a nation.
“In this regard, the NANS demands for the immediate arrest and prosecution of Hon. Farouk Lawan, Mr. Femi Otedola and any other person found to have been involved in the bribery scandal.
“ NANS also wishes to lend our voice to the demand of other Nigerians that the report of the subsidy probe panel be fully implemented as we are more particular about the message other than the messengers at the point of our history.
“We urge the leadership of the House to allow a thorough investigation by the anti-graft agencies into the allegations as we await further revelations on the matter.
“We wish to state that Hon Lawan has lost every moral ground to remain as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education as we hereby demand for his immediate resignation.”
On its part, the Kaduna chapter of the NYCN through its Secretary-General Comrade Danjuma Sarki said: “The Executive arm of government should not use the bribery allegation against Lawan to cast aspersion on the report or tarnish its integrity. We maintain that the report that was released by the committee was no doubt a product of a thorough and objective investigation of the massive fraud and clear rip-off of our collective national resources by a few Kleptomania, who have been milking our country dry at the expense of the masses.
“We want to caution the President Goodluck Jonathan and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to allow the oil cabal and some enemies of the growth and development of the Nigeria people use this opportunity to scuttle the implementation of the report, but should ensure that all those indicted are made to face the music and monies looted by them recovered.
“Anything short of that would certainly tarnish the image of his government before Nigerians and the international community.
“The government should remember that, all Nigerians are very much aware of the report, the great applause and reactions that it received from the good people of Nigeria was unprecedented.
“Therefore, any attempt to dump the report like that of the Hon. Tony Elumelu-led $16 billion power probe and others, shall be met with stiff resistance by well-meaning Nigerians.
“We emphatically reiterate our strong confidence in the House of Representatives, under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who we believe is a man of honour and integrity, with so much commitment to the eradication of corruption and development of our country. “We call on the House not to allow this allegation shatter its resolve towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the oil industry, but to pursue their cause of sanitising the sector.
“However, we demand a thorough and unbiased investigation of the allegation against Hon. Farouk Lawan, the chairman of the committee by Chief Femi Otedola, so as to ascertain the truth and whoever is find guilty should be made to face the wrath of the law.”
Source: The Nation