Bribery: More troubles for Farouk Lawan

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For claiming that he is in the possession of $620,000 he collected from Femi Otedola, Zenon oil boss, Adams Jagaba, the Chairman of House of Representative Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes has threatened to sue his embattled colleague, Farouk Lawan. 

Lawan who chaired the House of Representatives Committee on Fuel Subsidy claimed that the $620,000 was as an advanced payment for a $3million bribe Otedola had promised to ensure that his company, Zenon Oil was not indicted.

Lawan who accepted collecting the bribe of $620,000 from Otedola had claimed that he alerted Jagaba of the move to bribe him by the oil marketer through a letter in which he also attached the dollar notes. But Jagaba had insisted that he was not in possession of the money. 

On his part, Lawan has not been able to produce the money he claimed he collected to trap Otedola despite repeated demands by the Police during his interrogation over the issue. 

In the latest twist in the bribery scandal,  Jagaba in a statement he read out to journalists today said Lawan continued insistence that he was in possession of the bribe money amounted to “blackmail”.

He therefore threatened legal action against the embattled Lawan if  the allegation continued.

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“Hon. Farouk Lawan should stop this blackmail forthwith or else, I will have no option than take the appropriate legal action against him and to seek compensation befitting my status. Enough is enough!” Jagaba said in the statement. “I hereby make the following conclusions that, the embattled Hon. Farouk Lawan was rather rattled by the revelation of the bribery scandal, hence, in his confused and highly tensed state, picked up his pen and paper at an un-godly hour of 03:47am, wrote a letter (or so he claimed), as an afterthought, to the effect that he forgot to deliver the letter to the intended recipient, but rather chose to give it to a newspaper reporter and the Police Special Task Force (STF),” said Jagaba who said he first learnt of the claim by Lawan that he wrote him about the bribery allegations on the pages of a newspaper.

 “Farouk, in his opening remarks, stated that he reported the matter to me because of my position as the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes and not because I was involved in the bribery saga. “He also told the Police that he involved me in the matter because he thinks that that would enhance his case in Court. We faced each other before the Police STF. I then put the question: ‘Hon. Farouk, did you give me $500,000 or any money for that matter?’ This was a question the outspoken Farouk could not answer. He kept mum till I left.” 

Jagaba also rubbished the purported letter written to him on the bribery allegation by Lawan, describing  as an afterthought.

“Hon. Farouk Lawan, as a 4th-termer in the House of Representatives should have been more familiar with the appropriate name of my committee which is the House committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes,” he said. “On the second paragraph of the purported letter, Farouk Lawan stated that “attached is the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only…” “Is it practically possible to attach money of that quantity to a sheet of paper? Except if there exists a “Five-Hundred- Dollar-Bill! 

“Still, on the second paragraph, that “…with another promise of Two Hundred Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars”. “The total amount of bribe allegedly demanded is only $3 Million; but here is a Farouk quoting a balance of a whooping two hundred million, five hundred thousand dollars after collecting $500,000. The mathematics just did not add-up here! “An official letter written about an issue of this magnitude should have, in my opinion, appeared on the official Letter Headed Paper of the ad hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Investigation or at least, Hon. Farouk Lawan’s Letter Headed Paper. “There was no acknowledgement of receipt of the letter purportedly written to my office. “Forget that the letter was hand-written (because it was), but it should have carried the stamp and/or signature of receipt and date received. But there was nowhere on the entire letter, both the copy presented to the Police 5TF and the copy published on page 6 of the Leadership Newspaper of 14th June 2012 that acknowledgement of receipt of the letter appeared.”