Constituents Move To Recall Farouk Lawan From House
Nigeria: U.S.$ 3 Million Bribery Scandal – Constituents Move to Recall Farouk Lawan
By Chika Otuchikere, Shuaib Shuaib, and Salisu Ibrahim, 17 June 2012
Embattled member of the House of Representatives Hon. Farouk Lawan is facing a fresh battle from his constituents over his alleged involvement in the $ 3 million bribery scandal rocking the House: some of his constituents are plotting to initiate his recall from the House.
The lawmaker was released on bail yesterday after two days of incarceration by the Nigeria Police Force over his involvement in the bribery scandal.
However, investigations by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY in the lawmaker’s constituency of Shanono/Bagwai federal constituency of Kano State showed that some of his constituents had already commenced the compilation of signatures for onward transmission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the representative’s recall.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY investigations also revealed why the leadership of the House of Representatives ‘sacrificed’ the embattled lawmaker during their emergency session on Friday.
Hon. Lawan was removed as the chairman of the ad-hoc committee on the petroleum subsidy and chairman, House Committee on Education.
It was learnt that the leadership of the House took that decision because Hon. Lawan failed to confide in them nor did he carry the members of his committee along all through his transactions in the alleged scandal.
"Hon. Lawan did not carry any of his colleagues along in what transpired. We cannot vouch for him. We are not even sure whether he is with us or with the executive arm of government. Let him sort himself out. The credibility of the whole House cannot be called into question because of the alleged act of one member," a source in the House said.
This is even as politicians in the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)are taking full advantage of Lawan’s travails and are seeking signatories from his Shanono/Bagwai federal constituency for a petition to begin the process of his recall.
Some of the politicians who spoke with our correspondent in Kano said that Farouk’s action has portrayed Kano State in bad light, even though it has been one of the leading progressive states that has been advancing the cause of the common man in the area of politics for a very long time.
A former House of Representatives aspirant of the Congress for Progressive Change [CPC] for Fagge constituency in the last general election, Shuaibu Abubakar Fagge, condemned the action of the lawmaker and hailed the action of the legislators that suspended him from the chairmanship of the committee, saying that what the House did was "in order, proper and followed the due process of the law".
Abubakar, however, subscribed to the commencement of recall process of the lawmaker to allow easy flow of investigation into the matter since, according to him, Farouk’s action has exposed how PDP has been thriving on illegality and giving democracy a bad name.
"Farouk should be recalled, then prosecuted in order to face the consequence of his action," Abubakar said.
He called for a thorough probe into the bribery scandal because, "Nigerians will love to see how the lawmaker that has been presenting himself as leader of the Integrity Group will stoop so low to demand for a bribe. Let the whole truth come out and everyone involved in the bribery scandal identified and their names made public," he said.
According to him, the law is very clear that whoever is facing serious allegation of fraudulent practice has to give way and allow the law to take its course. "That’s why I hailed what the House did by first suspending him from the chairmanship position he held, now he should be prosecuted," he added.
Secretary of the ANPP, Alhaji Rabi’u Bako said that Farouk’s action has demonstrated how PDP has been responsible for corrupt practices in the country since the return of democracy in the country in 1999.
"It is evident that Farouk did not win the last election. That has been the case with him in all the elections he contested in the past. He’d not win, but he would be declared winner through illegal means. Now he has sown a seed and is reaping the fruits of what he sowed," Bako said.
The ANPP scribe, wanted immediate recall of the lawmaker, while the INEC holds a fresh election to fill in the vacant position, as the police arrange for his prosecution before a court of law for him to defend himself before the court.
However, Alhaji Ali Kakako Commander, one of the PDP leaders in Bagwai, said that the lawmaker is on his own, as far as the allegation of bribery is concerned, since his people did not send him to the House to promote illegality.
Commander said that even though Lawan has been outspoken in the House, his constituency has suffered a great deal since there had been no dividend of democracy in the area in the last 13 years.
"We have not started feeling his impact as our representative from this local government. He has only been good to himself and he has been accused of corrupt practice, so let him defend himself. When you talk of quality representative one can say he is good, but with what happened now, I think he was just a self-serving man," he said.
Meanwhile, the embattled lawmaker was yesterday released from police custody after two days in detention over his role in the $ 3million bribery scandal that engulfed the ad-hoc committee that investigated the fuel subsidy regime which he chaired.
He was granted bail yesterday afternoon after meeting bail conditions imposed by the police. The lawmaker, however, is to report at the police station on a daily basis while the investigation lasted.
Deputy force public relations officer, CSP Frank Mba, confirmed his release in a telephone chat with our correspondent. He said that the lawmaker may be prosecuted, depending on the outcome of their investigation. He refused to disclose the bail conditions.