House of Reps blasts Otedola, as Farouk Lawan says he will be vindicated

The House of Representatives on Thursday hit back at businessman, Femi Otedola, who is accused of paying lawmaker, Farouk Lawan, a $620,000 bribe, saying Mr. Otedola was as guilty as Mr. Lawan, and suggesting the House was not convinced the procedure that caught the lawmaker was a sting operation.

A spokesperson said the House believed “the giver (of bribe) is as guilty as the taker,” in a remark that offers an insight into the chamber’s unofficial impression of an episode which rates as one of its most scandalous.

Separately, Mr. Lawan, in his first appearance at the House chambers since the scandal broke out two weeks ago, said he was convinced he will be “vindicated” in the end.

The lawmaker, who has been removed as the head of two House committees, has admitted receiving the amount, but insists it was meant to expose the businessman, and to convince the House of the pressure its committee investigating fuel subsidy fraud, faced.

Police say locating the marked notes is central to its investigations, but the recovery of the bills has set off a blame game between the Mr. Lawan, the House leadership and another member, Adams Jagaba, chairman, House committee on Financial Crimes, earlier said to be in possession of the money.

Mr. Jagaba has denied he received or kept the money in a letter to the speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

Mr. Lawan showed up at the House midsession on Wednesday, and left minutes later. He later told reporters at an unscheduled briefing he will “prevail” at the end of the episode.

“I think it is important to note that I have been a member of the House of Representatives for the past 13 years, of course together with several other colleagues of mine past and present and we have done so much to build the House of Representatives. It means to show that I should enjoy the respect and confidence of Nigerians,” he said.

He said he had no reservations on his removal as the chairman of the ad hoc committee, and the education committee, and said he had been silent for “strategic” reasons.

“As far as the issue relating to me is concerned, I believe ultimately, I will be vindicated,” the lawmaker said.

“I believe in the end Nigerians will come to believe and see that for the 13 years that I have invested in championing good governance, responsibility and probity in this country that this last trial is a trial from God and I believe in the end we shall prevail.”

The reaction of the House is in response to a statement by Mr. Otedola condemning the re-listing of his company, Zenon oil, for investigations by the lawmakers.

Mr. Otedola described the House decision in a statement on Saturday as a “celebration of corruption”.

At a media conference Thursday, chairman of the House committee on media, Zakari Mohammed, said the businessman was a guilty in offering the money, and said the House remained unconvinced the operation that reportedly caught Mr. Lawan was a sting operation.

“Indeed if what he claims is true, there are procedures for a sting operation,” Mr. Mohammed said.

Of Mr. Otedola, the spokesperson, said, “It is those he befriends who should bury their faces in shame.

“Everybody’s history in this country is known. We know how people started their businesses, we know emergency billionaires.”
 

 


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  • Umar Sanusi

    You will be “vindicated” indeed for breaking the law; after all you a Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani who was allowed to go home every evening while in police custody by elements of the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani who dominate and control the Police. You will be “vindicated’ for taking bribes and removing the names of Otedola’s companies on the floor of the House after you made sure of your bribe Dollars. Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani epitomize corruption at the worst levels. In fact, I wonder what an Aminu Tambuwaal who cannot check free-for -all corruption in a House of merely 360 members has to say to a President who is doing everything possible to check corruption in a country of 160million people comprising the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani for whom corruption is their “feeding bottle”. It is on record that the only skill a Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani needs to serve in the public and private sectors in Nigeria is the skill of sharing money looted from bold corruption schemes.

    • Babso

      This sound like Kenmani write up.

  • Alex Akinyemi

    Yes, Farouk Lawan will be “VINDICATED” because Otedola himself is a man of questionable character.we know how obasanjo made him emergency billionaire, so is not a man of integrity.
    moreso, for offering bribe hehas a case to answer.
    Everything was planned by his friend (JONATHAN).

    • Mallam Musa

      Obasanjo also made Dangote. Yet still Otedola did not put bribe Dollar in his Cap. I have said it and will continue to say it: for the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani corruption is culture and religion.

      • Jude

        Dangote was a billionaire b4 d coming of Obasanjo. His donation of cash assisted Obasanjo tremendously when people were not ready to gamble.

        • Mallam Musa

          Dangote was a sugar and rice trader before the coming of Obasanjo; his source of meager wealth was merely through the stealing of official foreign exchange Dollar from CBN and reselling same in the black or parallel market. He was never listed as one of world’s richest until the coming of Obasanjo.

          • Ahmadybello

            U are sick.

          • Nagoma

            If your thinking is true, then Oduduwa, Omotan etc must have ruled in Borno Empire! Please grow.

            ****** PROPAGATING HATE IS ANTI-CHRIST ******

      • Babso

        You must be impersonating someone.

      • Nagoma

        Come out in your true self! Sometimes cowards masks themselves before speaking out. Unless “Mallam Musa” is one of them, his name does not rhyme with logical truth. Nigerians should abhor tribalism, religious jingoism, sectionalism, hatred etc etc in all their manifestations. If you believe in Nigeria, preach LOVE, that’s one of the ways to it forward.

        ****** PROPAGATING HATE IS ANTI-CHRIST ******

    • Jamesdaniel360

      Alex stop playing to the gallery and call a spade a spade. How can LAWAN who has told three different versions of his story be clean? Every billionaire in NAIJA is a suspect of fraud one way or the other. If you use your influence as friend of those in power to buy over companies you are corrupt. What do you expect from house of thieves and robbers. How come LAWAN refused to produce what he called exhibit. Jagaba has denied LAWAN claim that the money is with him. LAWAN is a rogue.

  • Babaeko

    Shamless Bastards! This just shows that the whole house is full of rogues! They ought to be castigating Frouk Lawan but instead are lending him support which just proves what Mr Otedola has been saying.That the whole house is in on it.
    What are these legislators atecedents? We all know what they were doing before politics! We also know how they were before getting into the house. We also know all the skeletons in their wardrobes! So please members before condemning a man who exposed your greedy guts,look inwards!

    • mr man, there is no saint in nigeria.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    What is this thief doing in the house? Truly, Truly, this is a house of thieves. Faruk Lawan should be in prison.

    • mr mpitikwelu are more honourable than farouk. let you or any other person that has not taken someones or somebodies things before directly or indirectly cast the first stone.
      bible told us that no sin is a small sin, all sinners will stand before the righteous to give account of his/her steward

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    common criminals parading themselves as honorables. What a shame!

  • Alibabs43

    What a shame? Otedola should be building Refinery instead of being a trader giving bribes about and spoiling his family names. Well lack of experience. What’s $3m compare to a good name. He should have just walk off and plan better for oil and gas biz. He shoul learn from Tinubu of Oando supplying gas thro out Lagos by laying pipes on his own to industrial area. Pls Otedola should think how to move Nigeria ahead not thinking the way our elders in politics are doing. Those elders ran out of ideas 25yrs ago because they could nt move us ahead.

    • this is a good talk, otedola should devot his time on how to change his dubious mind of obasanjo era. he is a new generation man, he should concentrate on how to improve supply of oil and gas with minimun risk from his ZENON outlets.

  • Ahmadybello

    Fine fine drama. I de laf!

  • Assanig

    The House is defending Farouk because he is an Hausa man. Mr. Integrity his foot

    • Nagoma

      This matter has absolutely nothing to do with ethnicity. Would you express similar utterance on corruption cases related to James Ibori, Olabode George, Cicilia Iburu etc. Of course corruption stinks, but ethnicity and sectionalism are part and parcel of corruption. Please grow!

      ****** PROPAGATING HATE IS ANTI-CHRIST ******

  • Alphonsusduniya

    I am sorry for Nigeria. Can two wrongs make a right? How much were given to you for taking sides. Anyone who supports a corrupt person is worst.

  • Rosemary

    Both the giver and the taker are guilty. There is no room for empathy. Why is the house sounding sympatetic…let the truth come out.

  • Umar_Sanusi + Mallam Musa = Ken Mani. 🙂

  • Lawan should be suspended from the House of Reps not just from committees until his innocence is convincingly proved.

  • Easy-E

    These Nigerian legislators are still hot footing like a bad fire walker. When would they get it in their thick skulls that a man who reports corruption and agrees with the police to set up a sting to catch the thief is himself NOT a thief? I am not privy to Otedola’s other activities, but in this case, he should be congratulated. The thieves and money grabbers who call themselves legislators should hang their heads in shame. Instead, they are blaming the man for ruining their party. Bloody dis-reputable bunch of criminals.

  • Drnoel

    “they know emergency billionaires” they say. Is the money not for Nigerians, what are they doing to get it back. Everyone involved should be probed and sentenced.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    It is plan works of President Jonathan sponsors and financiers like Femi Otedola,Dangote,Wale Tinubu and Dr Adenuga etc.They are the brains behind all what are working against Nigeria presently dictating to president Jonathan where to go and direction to drive Nigeria to secure their own personal intrests.
    Presently,Nigerians have no capable viable focus president in Jonathan and if Jonathan is not kick out,the nation will disintegrate completely on Jonathan watch.

    Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan,
    Writes From Canada.

    • Nagoma

      I concur with you Dr. The truth is we have never had it so bad under Jonathan’s amateur rulership (not leadership). The captain is totally confused and lacks sincere ideas on steering the ship forward. Moreover, the captain and his subordinates are insensitive to the passengers’ concerns on board. Thank you brother.