SERAP asks CCB, ICPC to investigate Lasun Yusuff, Deputy Speaker over N1.1b water project scam

SERAP asks CCB, ICPC to investigate Lasun Yusuff, Deputy Speaker over N1.1b water project scam
Chris Steven, Abuja

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) “to jointly investigate allegations of incompatibility, conflict of interest and abuse of office involving  Lasun Yusuff, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, using his personal company to win water contracts amounting to about N1.7 billion from the Ministry of Water Resources.

SERAP urged the anti-corruption agencies to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in  such investigation and  recover any stolen public funds.

“Such investigation and prosecution would help to improve public confidence in public authorities and minimize the risks of bad government by public officials.” It said

According to a petition dated, June 8, 2018, signed by Timothy Adewale, its Deputy Director, SERAP implored the agencies to “prosecute Mr Yusuff and other people and companies suspected to be involved if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence of abuse of office and complicity against them.

“We urge you to take steps within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to order your agencies to act in the public interest.”

The organisation noted that investigating the allegations and prosecuting all those suspected to be involved would indicate the agencies’ willingness to exert their authorities and act as a deterrent against breaches of the code of conduct provisions, Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation and international standards.

It said public officials allegedly securing to themselves and/or their companies and family members privileges rightly belonging to the public by by-passing or manipulating the formal procedures necessary for the award of these privileges is a textbook case of conflict of interest.

SERAP further  expressed “concerns that  Yusuff’s alleged acts suggest abuse of his position as lawmaker, and apparent conflict of interest situation, as such acts were undertaken by the Deputy Speaker in the exercise of his legislative functions to presumably promote and advance the commercial and other interests of his own, Nur and Company Nigeria limited.”

It argued that rather than using his law-making functions to promote access to safe drinking water and sanitation services forIrepodun/Orolu/Olorunda/Osogbo Federal Constituency without any discrimination or disparity in the level of services, the Deputy Speaker would seem to be looking after his own interests and Nur and Company Nigeria limited–not those of the constituency he represents.

“Bidding and winning the water project contract and the alleged mismanagement and/or stealing of about N1.1 billion meant to execute the project may have violated constitutional provisions and international standards on code of conduct for public officers and the Public Procurement Act.” SERAP noted