Police has enough evidence to prosecute Farouk Lawan – Ajibola, Akanbi
July 8, 2012 in Nigerian Current Affairs
The delay in the prosecution Farouk Lawan for the $3m bribery scandal has allowed for different reactions from well meaning Nigerians who have criticized the manner with which the case is been handled by the Nigerian Police. A former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, and one time Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bola Ajibola while speaking journalists on Friday had stated that the Nigerian police had all the evidence at their disposal to prosecute Lawan Farouk.
In his interpretation of the case, Justice Akanbi, a former President of the Court of Appeal, said Lawan could be charged based on his statement with the police on his involvement in the collection of the bribe money from Mr. Femi Otedola, which he has never denied to be false.
In a more related assertion, Ajibola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, avowed that the “court could force Lawan to bring out the money.”
Speaking exclusively on phone with some newsmen, the two had condemned the endless drama resulting from the 3 million dollars’ scandal.
Lawan and Mr. Boniface Emenalo had allegedly collected the money from Otedola, to remove the name of his firm, Zenon Oil, from a list of marketers that secured FOREX for fuel import but never applied it accordingly.
Akanbi said, “I am sure his statement is with the police. If he did admit receiving the money, without making other statements, that statement is enough.
“They can hold him to what he has said. It is an admission that he received corrupt money.
“If they have other evidence to support their case, they can prosecute him on his admission.
“Getting the money is a different thing, but the fact he has admitted that he received the money provides the evidence that he has received some corrupt money.”
Also reacting to the situation, Ajibola, a former Judge of the World Court at The Hague, told SUNDAY affirmed that “Not only can Lawan be charged with the matter; the court can also force him to bring the bribe money, seize and release it to the owner.”
“The law has all the provisions in the Criminal Act. If the police are prepared to do their job, they can do so.
“Those in the National Assembly who shared in the money or those connected with it can be prosecuted because they all conspired to take the bribe and all those involved can be taken up.”
Other legal luminaries who felt that the case has been dragged for too long had expressed almost the same view. Dr. Konyinsola Ajayi, (SAN) and Prof. Itse Sagay, (SAN) never held a word back in their analysis of the situation.
She said, “The police know what to do when they are looking for evidence. They search; they detain and may seize assets. And these actions are permitted by law.
“It is the same law; it has not changed. So, it all depends on the police.”
However, Sagay added, “There is a problem with our law; we don’t have provisions for compensation and reparation. There is no provision for reclaiming what has been stolen.
“The constitution is inadequate; it can only punish someone who stole goods but it cannot reclaim the stolen goods from him.
“We need to amend our laws such that the suspect is not only prosecuted but also compelled to make refunds or returns.”
The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, had said last week that the police needed to “gather more evidence on the matter.”
via Daily Post