EFCC Dumps Lawan Committee Report
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is not making use of the investigative report on the fuel subsidy management conducted by the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee led by Mr. Farouk Lawan.
The commission believes that the investigation conducted by the ad hoc committee, which revealed the theft of N1.07tn subsidy funds by oil importers and their collaborators, can’t be relied upon to prosecute anybody.
Although the commission, which commenced its independent investigation in April, did not dwell on the House report, it did not dismiss it in its entirety.
The Lawan committee recommended that 72 companies be investigated by “the relevant anti-corruption agencies in order to establish their culpability and to recover the N230.1bn said to have been misappropriated by them.”
SATURDAY PUNCH gathered that the commission was relying on the investigation led by its Director of Operations, Mr. Laolu Adegbite, to bring those indicted in the administration of the subsidy funds to book.
The EFCC team, comprising over 60 operatives, who visited oil installations across the country and other vital oil distribution points, did not focus only on the oil importers as was the case in the House of Representatives’ report.
It is the view of the leadership of the commission that all those found to have played various roles in the issue of the subsidy and whose names came up during the investigations would face prosecution irrespective of whether the person is an importer, or a Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation worker.
Although the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, said last week that the commission might commence prosecution of indicted oil importers next week, investigations showed that Adegbite and his men were still probing.
However, the commission has gone very far in its investigation and has come up with enough findings to approach the court for prosecution.
“The report was not discussed as an issue, but assurances were given that as soon as the EFCC finishes its assignment, which is very soon, you will begin to see prosecution probably in the next one week.
“So, Nigerians should be rest assured that this is not an issue that will be swept under the carpet.
“We have gone this far because we want a proper and painstaking investigation done so that when we charge people to court, there will be no lapses or loopholes for lawyers to explore,” the AGF had told State House correspondents after a meeting of the three arms of government in Abuja.