No more, stories about the forged documents in order to collect money for petroleum products never distributed in the country. No more, information about attempts by some marketers to bribe government agents. No more, news about threats by some marketers to expose top politicians if they are taken to court over fuel subsidy scam – no more punishment for fuel subsidy scammers?
In an interesting twist of events, the National Economic Council has said on Thursday that some of the indicted oil marketers had started making refunds of fuel subsidy payment they got. Annoyingly, they are painting the picture as if the marketers got the monies in error without any scheming on their part to ensure the “error”.
After the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja, Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, said in a press briefing said: “From the report we got today, some (indicted oil marketers) have started refunding. It is a serious case that people were paid for vessels that were not anywhere near the Nigerian waters… I think when the Federal Government does a thing that is courageous and right, it should be encouraged and that can at least give them the courage to do more…” And then he failed to mention those who have refunded the money.
And, as they have started refunding the money – someone is thinking – charges will be withdrawn? Not so many of us are privileged to be lawyers, but someone is asking can cases like this be settled out of court? This is Nigeria. Nothing is impossible. But what was all the rigmarole about in the first place; the committees upon committees. As it appears, the way things are going, the fuel subsidy fraud story will gradually fizzle out; the returned monies about which we are now hearing will remain just as it is described – “just heard of”; never seen, never felt by millions of Nigerians who have gone through untold pains as a result of the monumental fraud surrounding the so-called called fuel subsidy. And then what happens? We all live happily ever after!