I reported Otedola’s bribe to Police and EFCC in April – Farouk Lawan
The Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee which probed the management of the Fuel subsidy scheme, Farouk Lawan on Monday said that he reported the $3 million bribe to the Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) law enforcement agents as far back as April 24.
Documents released by National Assembly sources to the media, revealed that Mr Lawan allegedly informed the House Committee on Financial Crimes in a letter dated April 24, 2012, of pressures to offer him bribe to influence the outcome of the investigation into the fuel subsidy scheme.
In a letter to the leadership of the House, Mr Lawan also said his “life has been under constant threat since the fuel probe begun.”
Mr Lawan reported the bribe to the police following which the Inspector-General in a letter dated, May 9, 2012, directed a task force on investigation to meet him.
The IGP in the letter with reference number CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL 2/309 called Lawan’s attention to an interview he granted a national newspaper on April 28, 2012 and directed, “a discreet investigation into the matter.”
The letter was signed by the Commissioner of Police, Special Task Force, Ali Amodu.
He said that in another letter dated May 16, 2012 with reference number CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL 2/319, and signed by Mr Amodu, the IGP requested money exhibit, names of witnesses and other material evidence from him.
Mr Lawan explained that in a letter dated May 31, 2012, he told the IGP that the matter (bribe offer) had been referred to the relevant committee of the House for legislative actions.
After the correspondence between the IGP and Mr Lawan, the p in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, dated June 4, 2012, stated that a detailed criminal investigation had been ordered into the matter.
In the letter titled, “Investigation activities: Letter of invitation in a case of criminal conspiracy and attempt to pervert the course of justice by offering gratification,” the office of the IGP stated that “the Inspector General of Police has directed a detailed criminal investigation into the matter.”
The Chairman, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited Femi Otedola said in some national dailies on Monday that Mr Lawan and the Secretary of the probe committee, Boniface Emenalo had collected $620,000 from him in a sting operation masterminded by the security agencies.
The amount, according to Mr Otedola, the amount was part payment of $3 million, which he alleged Mr Lawan had demanded from him to exonerate Zenon Oil from the probe committee’s report.
Mr Otedola said on April 21, the Saturday before the plenary, Mr Lawan came in person to his residence and collected $250,000 in cash, as the first instalment and on Monday April 23 “Lawan came and collected another $250,000.”
House vows to probe bribery
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it will investigate allegations of bribery levelled against Mr Lawan, saying it will not support underhand deal from any quarters.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, Zakari Mohammed who disclosed this in a statement said, “While we await investigation into these weighty accusations, we wish to state without equivocation that this Honourable House will never take sides with corruption and we will always stand on the side of the rule of law. We cannot, for whatever reason, support any underhand dealing from any quarter.”