Nigerian leader charged in fuel scam bribe

Feb. 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Farouk Lawan, a Nigerian Parliament minister who led an inquiry into a fuel subsidy scam, was charged with corruption in connection with oil company bribes.

Lawan, whose investigation last year reported massive corruption and cost the country nearly $7 billion, allegedly collected $500,000 of a $3 million bribe offered by an oil company executive to drop the company from the inquiry, the BBC reported Friday, noting Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer but imports most of its fuel.

The executive, billionaire Femi Otedola, has alleged Lawan demanded the bribe to have Otedola's company, Zenon, removed from a list of those involved in the scandal.

Lawan was remanded to prison by the presiding judge. A hearing was set for Feb. 8, the newspaper Daily Times Nigeria reported.

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