Latest on bribery scandal: House turns heat on Otedola

The House of Representatives Ethics and Privileges committee announced on Thursday it was issuing summons for the appearance of oil marketer, Femi Otedola, before it, claiming that after questioning Mr. Farouk Lawan, over the $620,000 bribery scam, “startling revelations” had turned up.

The lawmaker and Mr. Otedola have been embroiled in the scandal that has been fraught with accusations and denials, with a police investigation into the matter, barely achieving much.

Amidst a police probe, the House committee opened its internal probe on the case on Thursday, meeting with Mr. Lawan for more than three hours behind closed doors, after a brief opening in which the committee pledged to conduct a transparent and fair inquiry.

After the session, the committee chairman, Gambo Dan-Musa said “several questions” put to Mr. Lawan, produced “startling revelations.” On that account, Mr. Otedola and other “stakeholders” with information about the case, were to be invited.

The lawmaker did not give details of the committee’s findings.

“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,” he said.

Mr. Otedola is to appear on July 3, 2012, Mr. Dan-Musa said, explaining the meeting was conducted in camera against earlier assurance for an open hearing, to forestall the undermining of the expected testimonies.

Coming more than two weeks after the scandal broke out, the House inquiry provides a new front to the episode which police say investigations had been slowed by the inability to trace the marked dollar notes paid to the lawmaker.

Mr. Lawan has agreed receiving the payment from Mr. Otedola, who, claiming to have acted to expose the lawmaker, however received in return, clearance for his oil firm, Zenon, earlier indicted for fuel fraud investigated by the House.

However, in earlier presentations to the police, the lawmaker has also denied receiving the sum as a bribe, claiming instead to have accepted the exchange, recorded by security agents, to implicate Mr. Otedola.

Mr. Lawan said immediately after making the receipt, he informed, and passed the notes to another House member Adams Jagaba, who is in charge of the House Financial Crimes committee.

In an earlier memo sent to the speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, Mr. Jagaba, denied receiving the sum, or the information.

Police say finding the marked notes is key to the investigation. But

after two weeks during which Mr. Otedola and Mr. Lawan have been interrogated by the police, investigators say the funds could still not be located.

Mr. Jagaba on Thursday denied being invited by the police over the incident, dispelling earlier reports his refusal to explain his role had stalled the investigation, and had prompted a deadline to be issued for his appearance.

“I have never received any invitation from the police to that effect but I am surprised to be reading in some newspapers that I was invited and I refused to appear,” he said.







Coronavirus factsheet


PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.