By Idris Bala Gusau
“Scratch the surface of a true leader, or look beneath his or her personality, and you’ll find character.” This pithy observation by Brian Cooper, which contains a general truth, aptly captures the life of the Former Executive Director of First bank, Dr. Dauda Lawal.
It was yet another day for intolerable calumny of dazzled traducers of Dr. Dauda Lawal, who were brought up on a diet of political propaganda and have sworn to perpetually feed Nigerians in particular the people of Zamfara State with same. After serially failing in the past to perfect their clandestine attempts to smear, scandalize and blackmail the hard earned image of this leading financial expert, they have resorted to hallucination of bringing back a case closed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
In their latest antic, this army of self-appointed mischief makers found a veritable platform in newspapers and online platforms to publish a fabricated story of a group asking the Federal Government to probe Mr. Lawal’s $40m fraud allegation. The said report mischievously alleged that “an anti-corruption group, Nigeria Public Transparency Initiative Group (NPTIG) has called on the Federal Government and other Anti-graft agencies to investigate the source of $40 Million allegedly traced to a former Executive Director of First Bank, Dauda Lawal.”
What is worrisome however is how desperation led a confused Chief Executive of a state to fully sponsored lies of such magnitude, and for the news platforms incapacity to apply due diligence in authenticating the veracity of the issue at stake.
The manner in which they latched onto the purported story signifies the deep-seated bitterness burning in the sponsors against Mr. Lawal. Whose business is it anyway? Who cares about a campaign of calumny by a Chief Executive who is desperately in search of relevance and his ghost group machinations, if not that gullible Nigerians must not be misled? If not for people of indelible bitterness, who would question the source of wealth of a man of towering global pedigree in the banking sector like Dr. Dauda Lawal? Come to think of it, Mr. Lawal has spent over 30 years in the banking sector, where due process and thorough scrutiny of funds flow is regularly observed. This is a man who reached the peak of his career. The frustrated mischief makers are ignorant of what it takes to be an Executive Director of a Bank.
Their claim is as preposterous, spurious and callous as it is entirely a tissue of lies. The story should be told to the marines, instead of any rational being. It is a sponsored campaign of calumny premeditated at rubbishing the legal system of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
For the record, the allegation of illegal acquisition of the sum of $40 Million and the subsequent “confiscation” by the EFCC, the available records confirm that the Order of Final Forfeiture made by the Federal High Court (Lagos Division) was set aside by the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CAILAG/CV/480/2019; DAUDA LAWAL v. EFCC & ANOR by its Judgment dated 25th March 2020.
The appeal by the EFCC against the Judgment of the Court of Appeal referred to above, was dismissed by the Supreme Court for lack of merit in a unanimous Judgment delivered on 12th March 2021 in SC/CR/21212020; EFCC v. DAUDA LAWAL; thereby, upholding and affirming the earlier Judgment of the Court of Appeal in the matter.
The above Judgments are matters of public record and are easily verifiable by any reasonable person. A seeker of truth can make the expected investigation on the subject matter before jumping to conclusion.
If you don’t know, ask. Asking will save you the embarrassment of looking stupid. The money and properties in question were justified as legal by the appeal and apex court of our Dear country! The Salami led Presidential panel investigating Magu had exposed how the embattled former EFCC Chairman on different occasions requested for a tip from Mr. Lawal, for the commission to clear and withdraw his case. Lawal curiously refused to succumb and decided to fight for his right through the legal means.
Lawal has passed all sorts of intimidation from the mischief makers, when EFCC failed to establish facts against him. There was a time when the Nigeria Custom was used to investigate the validity of the duties of his fleets of cars. His Kaduna residence was ambushed by Custom officers, what was the outcome? To their greatest shock all his cars has proper documents as required by the law.
How many of such people do we have in Nigeria, than can be subjected to a certain scrutiny and come out clean? Remember that this is a man who is not under any obligation to declare his asset, because he is not a public servant.
There is certainly no time for distractions from enemies of Zamfara State who will never see anything good about Mr. Lawal. What is clear is that the ghost group is in a haste to push any form of libelous content to justify the position of some disgruntle politicians bent on bringing Dauda Lawal down where they belong.
For the umpteenth time, it is important to drum this fact into the ears of these disgruntled elements, that no amount of campaign of calumny will lower the increasing popularity of Dr. Dauda Lawal in Zamfara State.
Bala writes from Gusau, Zamfara State.