Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, should be prosecuted over the allegation of N1.1bn water contract scam, according to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
SERAP noted this in a statement on Sunday where it investigating the allegation would go a long way in showing the government’s readiness to battle crime.
“Investigating the allegations and prosecuting all those suspected to be involved would indicate your agencies’ willingness to exert your authorities and act as a deterrent against breaches of the code of conduct provisions, Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation and international standards,” the statement read.
It added that, “Public officers also must discharge their public duties truthfully and faithfully, abide by the constitutional code of conduct, observe the primacy of public interest, and not allow their personal interest to influence their official conduct.
“SERAP believes that rather than serving the common interest of the public, the use of the personal and family company–Nur and Company Nigeria limited—to win over N1 bn water project contract would seem to put Mr Yusuff in a conflict of interest situation.
“Conflict of interest represents a situation where the person exercising a public function such as law-making duties has a personal interest of patrimonial or commercial nature, which could influence the objective fulfilment of the duties incumbent on public officers.
“The allegations of abuse of office and corruption have denied the communities affected the right of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, thereby exacerbating unequal access to drinking water and sanitation for the people of the constituency and Osun State in general.
“Such allegations also violate the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which guarantees the right to an adequate standard of living including the rights to water and sanitation. Nigeria has ratified the Covenant.
“According to reports, the Deputy Speaker allegedly used his personal company to win contracts amounting to about N1.1 bn from the Federal Government through the Ministry of Water Resources.
“Lasun, during his first term in the House, used his personal company – Nur and Company Nigeria limited, to bid and win two mini-water schemes in Osun State, as advertised on behalf of the ministry by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.