Lagos lawyer and human rights campaigner, Mr. Femi Falana, says he is throwing himself in the ring to defend the House of Representatives that is currently facing threats of multiple litigation from companies and individuals indicted in the fuel subsidy investigations. The services will be free, he says.
“In view of the threat of some of the indicted companies and individuals to sue the House over the report on the fuel subsidy fraud our law firm has decided to defend the House pro bono publico” Mr. Falana said late yesterday in a statement, adding that “the decision to render our services free …was informed by the resolve of the House to discharge its constitutional duty without fear or favour and in the national interest.”
Mr. Falana’s statement reads in full that:
“Since the Farouk Lawn-led Committee on the mismanagement of fuel subsidy fund submitted its report to the House of Representatives last week an orchestrated campaign of calumny has been launched against the leadership of the Committee and the House. It was even alleged that the House Speaker would be impeached in a desperate bid to cover up the monumental fraud. Some of the indicted companies have gone to the extent of threatening to challenge the powers of the House to probe them and pray the court to annul the report of the Farouk Lawan Committee .
“As a concerned Nigerian i submitted a memorandum to the House Committee. In my oral testimony before the Committee i dwelt, in extenso, on the reckless looting of the fuel subsidy fund by the cartel of public officers and fuel importers. Before then the Federal Government held a town hall meeting in Lagos in December 2011 at the instance of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria where I called for an investigation into the subsidygate. Although the Executive ignored the call, the House of Representatives under the leadership of of Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal took it up.
“In the wake of the popular protests against the removal of fuel subsidy the Presidency directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate and prosecute the culprits. I am also collaborating with the EFCC with respect to the investigation.
“Having read the 210- page report of the House Committee I wish to commend the chairman and the members for their courage, patriotism and commitment to accountability and transparency. By rejecting the tempting offers of the cartel of fuel importers the members of the Committee have demonstrated that there are still some public officers who will not sacrifice the interest of the country for personal enrichment.”