Farouk Lawan, the beleaguered chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy management, named in a N96 million bribery allegation, has broken his silence on the matter, denying vehemently that he took a bribe from an oil marketer to remove his name from the list of those indicted for their roles in a gigantic fuel subsidy scam of more than N2 trillion.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES Sunday night, Mr. Lawan said, “I wish to categorically deny that I or any member of the committee demanded and received any bribe from anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe and I believe this is evident from the thorough and indepth manner the investigation was carried out and the all encompassing recommendations produced therefrom as approved by the whole House.”
Read the full statement below.
“My attention has been drawn to several newspapers and internet stories alleging that a prominent member of the House Adhoc Committee on Petroleum subsidy demanded and received the sum of $600,000.00 as bribe from an oil marketer.
“I wish to categorically deny that I or any member of the committee demanded and received any bribe from anybody in connection with the fuel subsidy probe and I believe this is evident from the thorough and indepth manner the investigation was carried out and the all encompassing recommendations produced therefrom as approved by the whole House.
“The general public is hereby reminded that during and after the investigations we have severally raised alarm on pressures on us from different quarters. In particular. I wish to refer to the front page publication in the Leadership Weekend newspaper of 28th April 2012 captioned “Marketers offered subsidy committee plane-load of dollars” where we alerted the public that a marketer promised to fly in a jet loaded with US Dollars which he “intended to share to both the House leadership and members of the Adhoc Committee” to influence the outcome of the report.
“This clarification is necessary in order to clear all the insinuations being bandied about and more importantly to enable the government concentrate on the implementation of the report.
“The present mudslinging is not unexpected in view of the caliber of people whose actions and inactions were found wanting in the report. I am aware that in their desperation to discredit the report and divert the attention of the public from the real issues of large scale fraud in high places established in our report, a video footage displaying a caricature of my person allegedly having a dealing with a marketer reminiscent of the military era when dignitaries were invited to the villa to watch a video clip of a phantom coup involving Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is already in circulation.
“I wish to assure all Nigerians that the sanctity of our report remains unassailable and it will be in the best interest of the country if the relevant authorities faithfully and conscientiously implement the resolutions of the House. No amount of redherring and cheap blackmail will affect our resolve to continue to act in the best interest of the country with all the available information at our disposal. No doubt, the last has not been heard.”