The House of Representatives was, yesterday, recalled from break as the cash for clearance scandal widened with the Police disclosing that other oil industry interests besides Femi Otedola gave bribes in dollars, pounds and local currencies to the committee.
The revelation came as House members fought back, alleging a systematic attempt by the Presidency and other interested parties to damage the credibility of the report produced by the Farouk Lawan led ad-hoc committee that investigated the implementation of the Federal Government subsidy regime.
It also emerged, yesterday, that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal refused entreaties from the State Security Service, SSS to retrieve the bribe passed on to Lawan by Otedola. Tambuwal, it was learnt, insisted that his touching the money would mean tampering with the evidence.
The discovery that other oil interest groups allegedly paid bribes to the Lawan committee emerged from the work of the CP Ali Amodu-led Special Task Force investigating the scandal. There were also feelers from the Special Task Force that the $620, 000 bribe money admittedly received by Lawan may have been destroyed.
Lawan who has so far not formally appeared before the Police team investigating the scandal now has a deadline of tomorrow to appear before the Police or be declared wanted.
As a source said yesterday: “Lawan is to appear before the investigation team and say all he knows about the bribery allegations against him or risk the consequences as the Police is empowered by law to take such other lawful steps necessary to help with the investigations.”
Chairman of Zenon Oil, Chief Femi Otedola, who claimed to have given Rep. Farouk Lawan marked $620,000 as part payment of the $3m demanded from him as bribe appeared before the police panel on Tuesday during which he tendered both video and audio evidence of the transaction between him, (Otedola) and Lawan.
A senior Police source told Vanguard yesterday that the investigating team has enough evidence, including the call logs of the discussions between Farouk and Otedola on where, how and when the money will be collected, as well as the fact that Farouk went to Otedola’s house by 4 am to collect the money.
Source: Vanguard Newspapers