Bribery Scandal: Farouk Lawan surrenders to Police, detained overnight

The under fire chairman of the fuel subsidy probe panel in the House of Representatives Farouk Lawan yesterday presented himself to the police for questioning. He came in company with the Clerk of his committee, Boniface Emenalo and five lawyers.

Emenalo is alleged to have received about $120, 000 on behalf of his Lawan.

Farouk Lawan arrived at about 4pm Friday arrived the office of the police Special Task Force at the Louis Edet House Force headquarters.

Lawan, who initially denied the allegation by the chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Mr. Femi Otedola that the lawmaker demanded $3million bribe in order to exonerate Zenon Petroleum for the report of the fuel subisdy probe later confessed to have received the bribe in order to expose Otedola.

Otedola said Lawan collected $500,000 in two tranches of $250,000 while he sent Emenalo to collect $120,000 at a later date.

Lawan could not convince his interrogators of his innocence prompting his extended detention.

The Special Task Force, STF, headed by Commissioner of Police, Ali Amodu was not satisfied with the responses of the lawmaker, reported their findings to the IGP Mohamed Abubakar who ordered that he (Farouk) be detained overnight (until today) for further investigation.

Meanwhile the House will at its emergency meeting on Friday (today) mandate its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to probe the $3m bribery allegation against Lawan

When asked what would happen if police refused to release Lawan to attend the House’s emergency session today, a member of the House who sought anonymity said, “The House will go ahead and take necessary action because the integrity of the House is at stake.

“The House will also go ahead to dissolve the committee and constitute a new one to continue with the work of the ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy. The new committee may also be asked to review what the Farouk Lawan-led committee has already done.

“Dissolving the committee means that Lawan ceases to be its chairman. Lawan can only be suspended as a member of the House if he is indicted by the ethics committee or any other committee specifically set up for the purposes of investigating him.”