- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Friday, 11 February 2011 07:22
- Written by Leadership
- Hits: 2380
Lawal had variously served as minister of labour and productivity, as well as works and housing. He was then a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but he recently decamped to the CPC.
The embattled minister might not be alone in the alleged malfeasance as the anti-graft agency has spread its dragnet in hot pursuit of his perceived cronies in the alleged deals.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Lawal’s ordeal partly has to do with “controversies surrounding the former inspector-general of police Tafa Balogun’s property, which was said to have been sold and acquired without due legal permit.”
Head, media and publicity, EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, when contacted by LEADERSHIP, confirmed the arrest of the former minister, but declined further comment pending the outcome of Lawal’s interrogation and subsequent arraignment in court.
However, the national chairman of the CPC, Chief Tony Momoh said yesterday that the arrests and detention of the party members were political.
Momoh said that if actually members of the party ran foul of the law, they should be prosecuted. The chairman told LEADERSHIP that the arrests were politically motivated.
Momoh said: “The PDP started their campaign in Nasarawa. We are not PDP. We are not responsible for the failure of that campaign. Our supporters are being harassed and intimidated all over the place. And our gubernatorial candidate there, Tanko Al-Makura, was arrested. He was brought to Abuja, he was questioned. And the more humiliating one is that of the former minister of works, Dr. Hassan Lawal, who left government more than four months ago.
“Having joined our party, he is now being harassed. Security agents went to his place, took him, handed him over to SSS and, wonder of all wonders, EFCC has taken over. This type of thing cannot create the environment for free and fair elections. The earlier we attend to it, the better.”
The chairman added: “They are alleging that he incited people against the president. Our own candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, went to Bayelsa State and he was stoned in Bayelsa State. Nobody was arrested. I am not supporting stoning. It is bad behaviour, poor behaviour, unacceptable behaviour, to take the laws into your hands.
“But our own man went to the president’s state and he was stoned there. Nobody was ever questioned. I am saying that we should learn to differentiate between the president, commander-in-chief of Nigeria and Goodluck Jonathan, the candidate. A candidate is a candidate. If you are going to subject yourself to elections, you should subject yourself to election.”