June 12, 2012
The ongoing accusations and counter accusations between the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives on petroleum subsidy, Honourable Farouk Lawal and the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum, Mr. Femi Otedola over allegations of bribery involving the sum of $600,000, as serious as it is, should not be used to divert attention on the implementation of the report of the committee.
For us, we believe that Nigerians should not be overburdened with an issue that should strictly be the burden of appropriate security agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Whether or not the Chairman or the entire members of the Adhoc committee solicited for and received gratifications to compromise the outcome of the committee’s investigations though quite disturbing, the final report of the committee still contains names and details enough for thorough and transparent investigation. The report, which has been submitted to the executive arm, must be subjected to proper investigation and prosecution of all those indicted.
We saw in the report a confirmation of our position. We have, since the mid eighties, insisted that subsidy do not exist in the petroleum sector, rather it has always been a conduit for a few cronies of successive governments with interest in the petroleum sector to siphon public funds for their private businesses.
For us, we believe criminal matters as serious as bribery should be what the police or EFCC should take very serious interest in and not politicize the issue through unnecessary diversionary tactics. We therefore urge the EFCC to implement the report of the committee, which President Jonathan was reported to have forwarded to the agency NOW.