$620,000 Fuel Subsidy Bribery Scandal, A dead End?
By Adeola Adeyemo
With the embattled Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan’s insistence that he gave the alleged bribe money to the Chairman, Committee on Narcotics and Anti-corruption, Adams Jagaba, Police investigators are now in a dilemma over the whereabouts of the $620,000 bribe.
After Mr. Lawan confessed to receiving the bribe money from the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola, he said he gave the money to Mr. Jagaba who denied ever receiving the money in an official statement.
Now, it seems that the Special Task Force is not making much progress in the investigation because of its inability to know the whereabouts of the money.
The Police probe into the matter is compounded by the refusal of the State Security Service to provide the Special Task Force with the original copy of the video recording of what transpired between Lawan and Otedola.
Meanwhile, Jagaba and members of the committee on fuel subsidy have shunned police invitation. They were expected to appear before the STF on Wednesday, but only Lawan and the clerk of the ad hoc committee, Boniface Emenalo, turned up.
However, Jagaba wrote the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, saying he did not collect any money from Lawan.
Sources said the STF is now confused about the next step to take, following the ‘dribbling‘ by Lawan and the refusal of other committee members and Jagaba to honour police invitation.
Other committee members that were invited had yet to appear before the police too.
“Investigators are confused and didn’t know what to do because Lawan kept dribbling them about the whereabouts of the money and it seems the STF is intimidated by the caliber of people involved in the matter.
“I think the fact that the Inspector-General of Police, is in acting capacity is an issue and that may be why the police are afraid to go tough with the lawmakers.
“The fact that the SSS has not been cooperating with us by releasing materials in its possession is not helping the matter. This investigation is heading for the rock,” the source said.
When the news of this bribery scandal first broke out, a lot of people said it would end up just this way – at a dead end. Although investigations are still ongoing, considering the recent turn of events, many have lost faith that justice would prevail in this case.
What are your thoughts?