$3million bribery: I’ll be vindicated-Farouk Lawan

Channels Television  
Updated June 21, 2012

The former chairman, House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the management of fuel subsidy scheme, Honourable Farouk Lawan, has declared that he will be vindicated of the bribery allegation leveled against him.

The embattled lawmaker, who made his first attendance at the plenary session since the bribery scandal broke two weeks ago, stated that “as far as the issue relating to me is concerned, I believe ultimately, I will be vindicated.”

The diminutive lawmaker walked into the session midway through the day’s deliberation.

He greeted a few lawmakers and sat for a few minutes before leaving the chambers.

Speaking with journalists on his way out, the lawmaker said he believes the decision taken by the house to suspend him as chairman of the Subsidy Probe Panel, as well as the Education Committee, was the right decision.

“I think it is important to note that I have been a member of the House of Representatives for the past 13 years, of course together with several other colleagues of mine past and present and we have done so much to build the House of Representatives. It means to show that I should enjoy the respect and confidence of Nigerians” he said.

“I believe in the end Nigerians will come to believe and see that for the 13 years that I have invested in championing good governance, responsibility and probity in this country that this last trial is a trial from God and I believe in the end we shall prevail.”

He noted that he has been silent for “strategic” reasons.

Mr Lawan is under investigation with the Special Task Force of the Nigerian Police Force for allegedly, soliciting a $3million bribe from oil mogul, Femi Otedola, to remove his name from the list of companies indicted by the subsidy probe panel.

Mr Otedola in an interview with a national newspaper, revealed that the lawmaker collected a part payment of $620,000 from him in a sting operation, coordinated the State’s Security Service (SSS).

The lawmaker was detained at the Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force on the 14th of June,  after he turned himself in. The Police Special Task Force team had earlier given him an ultimatum to appear before it or risk being declared wanted.

He was released two days later on bail, on the the condition that he will subsequently appear before the Police’s Special Task Force team until the matter is disposed of.