I Collected Money Not Bribe —Farouk Lawan

Disgraced member of the House of Representative and suspended chairman of the House Ad-Hoc Committee on the Monitoring of Subsidy Regime, Hon. Farouk Lawan, has began defending himself in the ongoing investigation into a $620,000 bribery allegation levelled against him by business mogul Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman, Zenon Oil and Gas.

Lawan, who was interrogated behind closed doors by the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges, which began investigation into the allegation yesterday, said what he collected was money and not a bribe.

Restating his earlier statement to the media, Lawan said he collected $500,000 from Otedola not as a bribe but as exhibit that he planned to use as evidence of the attempt by the oil marketer to influence the report of the subsidy probe.

Otedola, in his account of the transaction between the duo, had claimed that Lawan made repeated demands of him for money to stop the ad hoc committee from indicting his company, adding that he had to bring in security agents who advised him to play along with the lawmaker in a bid to nail him.

The security agents, he added, provided the serialised dollar bills that were given to Lawan, who collected the money without knowing that he was being recorded.

A source told THISDAY that Lawan appeared confident throughout his session with the Ethics Committee, but he was rather evasive when asked about the whereabouts of the money he admitted to have collected.

Unlike in the past when he claimed that the money was with the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Adams Jagaba, Lawan said the security agencies would establish the whereabouts of the money during their investigations.
On his part, Jagaba in different letters to the House Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had denied Lawan’s claim.

THISDAY checks showed that besides his oral testimony, Lawan also tendered documents said to contain call logs obtained from a telecommunication service provider to substantiate his claim that Otedola initiated the transaction and not him.

It was learnt that the committee might recall Lawan to give further clarifications on his testimony as the investigation progresses.

Earlier, Lawan, who had arrived at the venue of the committee at 1.05 pm, expressed surprise at the heavy media presence. He expressed pleasantries with his colleagues and reporters before taking his seat.

Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon. Gambo Dan-Musa, gave a synopsis of the case under investigation and shortly after, ordered reporters to excuse the committee to enable it interrogate Lawan in camera.

Dan-Musa said the committee’s mission was to establish the facts of the bribery allegation and after a series of meetings, it decided to invite Lawan, Otedola and other stakeholders involved in the matter to appear before it at different times.

“The committee is set to carry out its assignment with a very high sense of commitment. We shall strive to be fair and just to all parties involved. It is our belief that at the end of the day, our report will meet the expectations of the House and indeed that of the Nigerian public,” Dan-Musa said.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, who addressed reporters later, said the decision to conduct the investigation secretly was to create a conducive atmosphere for Lawan and others to give their testimonies freely and without distraction.

“You know that it is an investigative hearing and we want to avoid a situation where his (Lawan) presentation would bungle certain people’s submissions.

“Of course, the police are doing their own investigations and they are doing that in camera. So we believe that this also should be done in camera to at least give everybody some protection and the freedom to say all that he or she knows.

“If you are sure there are cameras, there might be certain things witnesses might want to hide. So it is not as if we are trying to hide anything but we want to ensure that we do a thorough job of this investigation,” Mohammed said.

-ThisDay News

Tags from the story
farouk lawan, femi otedola

14 Comments

  • Both lawan farouq, and otedola are to be arested according to the constitution of nigerian. The bribery and the taker. If lawan is admitted that he collected money not bribe, he doesn’t no what he was saying we are not fulls, he is a criminal trying to hide his shadow.

  • Both lawan farouq, and otedola are to be arested according to the constitution of nigerian. The bribery and the taker. If lawan is admitted that he collected money not bribe, he doesn’t no what he was saying we are not fools, he is a criminal trying to hide his shadow.

  • Why keep on bothering us with Lawal’s bribery Saga ?
    What about issues of Subsidy ?
    Oh did you consider intrest of few Men over power intrest of Nigerians ? that subsidy affect every Nigerian which after President declared stopping it on 1st January 2012 . affect even prices of comodities in our market talkless of transportation fares.
    Pls. Media we urge you to exposed & make sure the culprits are brought to book the later on you keep on their bribery issue if the’re not trying to kill the subsidy froud findings.

  • This Farouk Lawan case is a sham by the Federal Government to cover the subsidy probe, this is all a set up fro the FG to de-rail us from the rel subject matter to mere shadows of corruption. we refuse to be distracted

  • So if there is camera, the money collector will tell lies on oath. Does it means that there is no oath taken by the law makers. What a wonderfoooooooooool nation, called Nigeria.

  • To the extent that Nigerians are longer ashamed of anything. Even the so called Hons. I know the meaning of Hon. and when you are previledged to be “Properly Honoured” not when you claimed to be, you would understand whay I mean. If you are a University Graduate for instance and your degree is witbout honours, you would be able to appreciate what honourable means.

  • Sorry please, don’t mind my keyboard. I wanted to asked if Nigerians are NO LONGER ashamed. People just say things, or do things any how, and we just take them as if there is neither standard nor morals in Nigeria. Everything is taken for granted.
    It was not like this before, what is happening or what has happened?

  • Both Faruk Lawn & Femi Otedola ‘re guilty of bribery & corruption. Why ‘re u wasting time to punish dem & close the case, then we face de oil subsidy report.

  • In fact, Nigeria is in the state of anarchy. Is Nigerian constitution not functioning again? Faruk and mr. Femi should be severely dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.

  • If it were to be fuel subsidy removal Mr. President wuld have said at once remove it. Or the issue of increasing the electricity tariffs he wuld have overnight endorse it. Now common criminals are in ur palms and u can’t even utter a word. That is to show that urself is a criminal as well. Imagine people expressing their displeasure on Mr. Farouk actions because they hold him high esteem for been a man of integrity. Now I want to ask, what happen to those members in the house who are not noted for integrity? Only God knows what is going on there. Nigerians shuld open their eyes. If it were to be the white investigating this matter since, they wuld have by now discover numerous individuals this common criminal have collected bribe from. We only get to know about this one just because the giver thinks he might not be exempted at last and he decided to expose him. Even those who are currently investigating and probing, who knows what they are doing now? Tufiakwa!!!!

  • I really dnt understand d point arresting Otedola if His testimony is true.
    To catch a fish, you must bait the hook which is what Otedola did. I dnt think whn u send a police for an undercover operation, you arrest him and punish him alongside with the criminals.
    Let the culprit Farouk be properly investigated and dealt with, why does he refuse to submit the money taken?

  • Essien,go alng wit d story well,he (otedola) gave d 1st,den lawan demands 4 more of it type,dat made otedola brings d police in2 it,so dis nt smtin 2 delay time on,both shud b dealt acordingly,we all wat u pple re doin in dat house,so let jst watch cuz d subsidy issue is dyin

  • I dnt think u guys saw wat i’m seeing ooo…,the money in question now got missed.bcoz farouk denied of being in possesion of the money.now,the big question is, who is holding the money being investigated on?

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