Farouk Lawan remains in custody after failing to produce marked dollar bills

The police held for a second night suspended House of Representatives fuel subsidy committee chair, Farouk Lawan, who is at the centre of a $620,000 bribery scandal, after the lawmaker failed to turn in the marked notes he received in the sting operation that nailed him, officials said Friday night.

Mr. Lawan turned himself in to the police for questioning Thursday evening after admitting he collected the money, although he denied it was meant to be a bribe.

He claimed the money was to be submitted before the House as a proof of the pressure its committee, investigating a gargantuan fuel importation fraud, faced from the marketers.

He received the amount as an advance payment for $3 million, from oil business mogul, Femi Otedola, and cleared two of Mr. Otedola’s oil firms that were accused of taking part in the more than N1 trillion fraud.

But asked by investigators to surrender the notes, marked and secretly videotaped by agents, Mr. Lawan could only afford a few left overs, claiming the rest had been stolen by burglars, a police source said.

Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES he remained in custody because “investigations were still ongoing.”

A highly placed police officer later told this newspaper at midnight that the lawmaker was offered bail with conditions he couldn’t meet.

He said the embattled lawmaker might be released on Saturday.

Mr. Lawan was removed from his positions in the House on Friday at an emergency session convened to discuss the scandal.

The episode, only the latest in a series of corruption scandals in the House, appears the most disgraceful and highlights the desperation lawmakers exhibit to draw kickbacks and patronages.

Latest revelations from top security  sources, who have seen the videos of the exchange, say on the three occasions Mr. Lawan visited the businessman for the deal, he drove himself in a C class Mercedes Benz.

For each of the visits, five video recordings, averaging a duration of eight to 10 minutes, were made.

The lawmaker negotiated the terms of the bribe with Mr. Otedola over a lunch on the first visit, the source said. He later received the first part of $250,000 on the second visit, which was around 11 p.m. Then, he got the second part of the money on the third visit which was around 5.05 am.

Dressed in a green agbada and a sokoto cap, the source said, Mr. Lawan stuffed the wads in his pockets and under the cap possibly to conceal the package from Mr. Otedola’s domestic aides since they hadn’t seen him enter with a baggage.

“In the video, Lawan was clearly seen stuffing wads of dollar bills into his pocket; when his pocket was full, to the utter shock of those who watched the video, he removed his cap and concealed the remaining wads of dollar bills inside it and replaced the cap on his head,” the source said.

“Nigerians will reel with laughter if they ever get to watch this video. It is on the one hand hilarious, and on the other hand, shameful.”

 


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  • patriot

    This story seems ridiculous. If he indeed entered with a baggage, why not put the money in it, rather than inside agbada & cap? carrying out a bag you came in with would have being the norm. I am not a defender of Lawan, but why was he not arrested immediately after the sting, ie. collected the money. at least , the aim was to expose his greed. why wait for such a long time before coming out. Something is fishy. One day, the truth will be known. Otedola & cabals, Obj & govt are all in the know of something they are all trying to cover up, which Lawan & his men ,thru their greed fell for. An investigation into oil cabals is an investigation of OBJ & GEJ. The report is messed up & would never see the light of the day as usual, or GEJ would present an adulterated one. Nigeriaaaaaa.

  • 200 million mumu

    • Akin

      It is obvious that Farouk is not adept at stealing. There were much much more bigger scandals involving billions of usd that were swept under the carpet. Corruption in Nigeria is conspiratorial involving all the geopolitical zones in the country. It is an issue of self interest

      • Easy-E

        Are you offering classes at stealing? In all seriousness, what are you suggesting we should do? We all know that corruption is endemic in our society, and so far, it has proved intractable, due to our corrupt police force and judiciary. Every little victory in bringing fugitives to justice should be celebrated, after-all a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.

  • Kufre

    I am sure Premium Times meant to write “…since they had NOT seen him entering with a baggage.” It’s a shame how these Northern Nigeria Parasites survive from Southern Nigeria’s fortunes. Every one of them that is a money bag today in that dry land called North arrived there through the stash of a Southerner. With his 2015 guber in mind, tell me why he’ll not be running from pillar to post all in the bid to raise cash. Too bad the dirts that the North is. This is one example of how the North is a parasite – even in stealing, they steal form the south.

    • dan

      Seems ur brain is infected by some virus or maybe a parasite is living in your head. Otedola of course is not a thief (of course). Neither is ibori, ibru, akingbola, bankole, obj, silva, etc etc etc………….of course

    • adenle

      Corruption is a national issue.it is not matter of Northern or Southern!The greatest corruption in the last 13 year of this civilian government are from the Southern!

    • Dapo Giwa

      Kufre, Your fadda nyash. That is all I have to say. Thank you

    • Mairigaumar

      Hi Kufre, thats a good job, I think, the Bankoles, Ettes, Iboris, Elumelus, Alamesighas, Ndidi Okerekes, of this world must all be Northerners. Some morons sits logic on its head in Nigeria either because they are blinded by sheer ethnic sentiments or half baked pocket intellectuals with fake certificates

    • Baba Zaria

      KUFRE, WHICH SCHOOL DID YOU GO TO? WHICHEVER SCHOOL IT WAS I AM SURE YOU DID NOT READ HISTORY. TO CALL US NORTHERN NIGERIANS “PARASITES”, YOU MUST SURELY HAVE BEEN OUT OF YOUR SENSELESS SENSE!!!! YOU SEEM TO FORGET THAT IT IS FROM THE SO CALLED NORTHERN PARASITES THAT YOU GET YOUR TOMATOES, PEPPER, ONIONS, BEANS, MAIZE, GUINEA CORN, MILLET, GINGER, AND ON TOP OF ALL THESE YOUR ALMIGHTY COWS AND DONKEYS(WHICH WE RIDE AND YOU EAT AS DELICACY). IF YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND WANT TO CRITICIZE EITHER YOU HAVE YOUR FACTS CORRECTLY OR YOU SHUT UP!!!! MAY BE YOU HAVE EVEN NEVER CROSSED RIVER NIGER, YET YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE NORTHERN NIGERIA AS PARASITES. THANKS FOR MAIRIGAUMAR’S CONTRIBUTION TELLING YOU ABOUT YOUR SOUTHERN THIEVES.

    • Babashariff1

      Well, Northern Nigerian people are not parasite,Majority of them didn’t know petrodollar ever exist they are contented with what they have.
      Majority can be regarded fouls but not thieves.

  • PREMIUM TIMES

    Sorry readers, it was an error. We meant to say Otedola’s aides had NOT seen him enter with a baggage…The error is regretted

  • Steve Fasoranti

    Mairigaumar, THANKS!!!
    Your return fire was potent, lethal, educative and awe inspiring.
    Steve Fasoranti,
    Kaduna.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    Cant wait to see the video. it sure will be like jagwa comedy.lol. almajiri wan hammer! abeg wetin im wan use 3 million dollar do? buy new tooth, marry more children? I dey laugh. see mumu wan catch thief, thief come catch am.

  • ladeefa

    When will Bukola Saraki would also be in the custody ?Has the presidency and the Sultan of Sokoto settle the grave issue?

  • Tonmust

    Wether u from north, south, east or north-pole, it doesn’t matter. criminal is a criminal. Ethnicity don’t matter! Kufre, try and be objective than tribalistic

  • Larryk371

    Was there anytime in the video recording where Otedola attempted to assert the innocence of his company and blackmail as he claimed in his interview with Thisday newspaper?

  • Anonymous Nigerian

    I would like a link to the Video implicating Facrook. I want to see it for myself! Been searching the internet..anyone with useful links????

  • Hcedo

    Unbelievable! Nothing but a typical theif in agbada.