Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hush Money


                                         Congressman Farouk Lawan (Left) & Femi Otedola

Today I write to you with a new development yet it oddly seems to be the same story...just a different day. We all recall the debacle regarding the oil subsidy, the national uprising, the strikes, etc. Well amid all of this uproar what was Congressman Rep. Farouk Lawan doing? One could reasonably expect that during this time he was working to bring about a peaceful, workable solution to ensure the subsidy be put back into place to bring about resolve for the citizens of Nigeria.! He was too busy lining his own pockets rather than advocating for the citizens he represents.  He was approached by the oil executives and decided that it was the right thing for him to extort this problem for personal gain. Rather than exposing the oil executives for who they are, he decided to "take the money and run." He cashed in on $600, 000 USD (about N96 million Nigeria naira)  of hush money to protect the oil company from being exposed. An obvious, yet extremely simplistic question that pops into my mind regarding this is..."What the hell is wrong with you?" or "Who does that?"

At least a redeeming quality here is that his conscious got the best of him and he quickly turned the money back over and reported the situation to his fellow congressmen. Actually, no! The way this was discovered is that an oil executive by name Femi Otedola  testify in the Nigeria senate alleging the bribery and naming names to let them know what happened. The plan for the money was that Congressmen Rep. Farouk Lawan was supposed to use the money to bribe his governmental cronies to cover up the results of the oil company investigation. Congressmen Rep. Farouk Lawan, instead became greedy and pocketed all the money. least he admitted to it right away. Once! He lied until he received enough pressure and the evidence was too much against him. Not until he was faced with this reality did he come forward. This story is despicable at best. Where is the justice for our governmental officials? Hold him accountable. He is not above the law!

As in America there are a few names that come to mind. Blagojevich, Madoff, Libby, Hecker. These names are among an "elite" list of corrupt individuals. While the American justice system is not always a beacon of excellence, all of these individuals faced justice. They are now all serving time for the corrupt acts they committed. Two of these individuals were government officials. It doesn't matter, the American justice system took the right action against them regardless of their status. It is essential that the Nigerian government make an example out of this individuals. Make them pay for their actions. This is the only way to curb the corruption that exists in Nigeria.

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