Police say

Former House of Representatives fuel subsidy adhoc committee chair, Farouk Lawan, embroiled in a $3 million bribery scam, failed on Monday to hand over to investigators, the marked dollar bills he got from businessman Femi Otedola, police confirmed early Tuesday.

 

The police had earlier said the lawmaker’s failure last week to surrender the notes, markedby security agents in a sting operation, was responsible for his prolonged detention.


Mr. Lawan’s release on bail on Saturday was secured after police received assurances from the lawmaker and the House of Representatives leadership that the funds, $620, 000 he received as an advanced bribe payment, would be surrendered latest Monday.

 

Police said while he reported at the force headquarters on Monday as directed, the lawmaker still could not produce the money.

 

Speaking on a Radio Nigeria network programme, Police Diary, on Tuesday morning, a spokesperson, Emmanuel Inyang, confirmed what other police sources had earlier hinted.


As I said, he came yesterday as directed but he still didn’t bring the money. And the money is central to our investigation,” Mr. Inyang said.

 

Mr. Inyang said the lawmaker had undertaken to work with all law enforcement agencies to recover the money and surrender it to the police.

 

A police source had quoted Mr. Lawan as saying part of the bribe money was stolen by burglars.

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

 

The sum was paid by oil business mogul, Femi Otedola, owner of major diesel importer, Zenon Petroleum and Gas, for the de-listing of the company indicted by the House adhoc committee in the more than N1 trillion fuel subsidy fraud.

 

Mr. Lawan claimed the money was to be submitted before the House as a proof of the pressure its committee, and as evidence in support of Mr. Otedola’s bribery antics.

 

The lawmaker was removed from his positions in the House, and Mr. Otedola’s companies were relisted on Friday at an emergency session convened to discuss the scandal.

 


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