We will prosecute “subsidy thieves” – Adoke

by Isi Esene

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Muhammed Adoke, has said the trial of “subsidy thieves” will commence next week according to the Punch Newspaper.

He gave this hint on Monday while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He added that those found wanting would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.

He revealed this information after a meeting initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to deliberate on the nagging issue of corruption plaguing the polity.

Adoke said the government is planning on “formulating a national strategy on the fight against corruption. And that strategy will involve the three arms of government.”

This would, however come as a surprise to many who had thought the Farouk Lawan conducted fuel subsidy probe has been compromised and therefore will be jettisoned.

After the report, which indicted several oil marketing concerns, was released, Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Zenon Oil, had alleged that Lawan put him under pressure for a $3m bribe, out of which $620,000 had been paid to the lawmaker. The bribe was given ostensibly to extricate Otedola’s company from the list of those indicted in the report.

Lawan, however, later confessed to collecting the bribe money claiming he did so in order to expose the businessman.

Adoke, who briefed journalists alongside many lawmakers and other heads of anti-graft agencies, assured Nigerians that the revelation arising from the subsidy probe report would not be swept under the carpet.

Those at the briefing included the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Anti-Corruption, Senator Victor Lar; Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Mulikat Akande; Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adams Jagaba; Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, and the Acting Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta.

Adoke assured Nigerians saying “as soon as the EFCC finishes its assignment which is very soon, you will begin to see prosecution probably in the next one week. We will begin to prosecute because the EFCC has gone very far.

“So, Nigerians should rest, assured that this is not an issue that will be swept under the carpet.”

Certainly, this is our cue not to rest.

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