Faroukate: Chronology Of How Otedola Bribed Farouk Lawan
STAR CHRONOLOGY: The Otedola-Lawan Saga of Bribery over Fuel Subsidy Report
Dear Citizens of Nigeria,
Here is the Chronology:
April 18: Date of House Fuel Subsidy Report (Zenon and Synopsis Indicted)
April 21: Date of Delivery of First Bribe Money to Farouk Lawan ($250,000)
April 23: Date of Delivery of Second Bribe Money to Farouk Lawan ($250,000)
April 24 (early morning) Date of Delivery of Third Bribe Money to Farouk Lawan’s Aide ($100,000)
April 24: (late morning) Date of House Plenary Discussion on Subsidy Report (Zenon and Synopsis Delisted)
April 24: Lawan writes to Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes of Otedola’s persistence to offer him bribe to influence the outcome of the investigation
April 24: Clerk of the committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo, writes to Lawan that Otedola offered him $100,000
April 24: Lawan discloses in another letter to the House leadership that the clerk of the committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo, wrote to him that Otedola offered him $100,000
April 28: Farouk Lawan grants an Interview revealing pressures on him
May 9: The IGP, in a letter with reference number CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/ VOL 2/309, calls Lawan’s attention to an interview he granted a national newspaper on April 28,2012 and directed, “a discreet investigation into the matter.”
May 16: Letter reference CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/ FHQ/ABJ/VOL 2/319, signed by Amodu, the IGP requested money exhibit, names of witnesses and other material evidence from Lawan
May 31: Lawan explains in a letter to the Inspector General of Police that the matter (bribe offer) had been referred to the relevant committee of the House for legislative actions
June 4: IGP, in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, states that a detailed criminal investigation had beenordered into the matter.
THE bribery saga in the House of Representatives took a new turn on Monday when documents made available to journalists in Abuja showed that the Inspector General of Police and the relevant House committee were officially informed of alleged attempt by Mr Femi Otedola to bribe the committee as soon as the offer was made.
Lawan had in a statement on Sunday denied taking any bribe from any oil magnate in the course of the probe of the fuel subsidy.
About four correspondence were distributed to journalists by a highly placed official in the House of Representatives showing that the police authorities were informed and actions were taken to investigate the oil magnate`s attempt to bribe the committee.
One of the letters revealed that the Inspector General, in a correspondence dated, May 9, 2012, directed the task-force on investigation to meet him. The IGP, in the letter with reference numberCR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/ VOL 2/309, called Lawan’s attention to an interview he granted a national newspaper on April 28,2012 and directed, a discreet investigation into the matter. The letter was signed by the Commissioner of Police, Special Task Force, Ali Amodu.
Another correspondence dated May 16, 2012 with reference number CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/ VOL 2/319, and signed by Amodu, the IGP requested money exhibit, names of witnesses and other material evidence from him.
Another document showed Lawan explaining in a letter dated May 31, 2012, to the Inspector General of Police that the matter (bribe offer) had been referred to the relevant committee of the House for legislative actions.
A fourth correspondence revealed that the IGP, in a letter to the Speaker of the House, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, dated June 4, 2012, stated that a detailed criminal investigation had been ordered into the matter.
In the letter entitled, Investigation activities: Letter of invitation in a case of criminal conspiracy and attempt to pervert the course of justice by offering gratification, the office of the IGP stated that the Inspector General of Police has directed a detailed criminal investigation into the matter.
Lawan had intimated the Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Crimes, in a letter dated April 24, 2012, of Otedola’s persistence to offer him bribe to influence the outcome of the investigation. This letter was also made available to the media.
According to the letter, Attached (to the letter) is the sum of five hundred thousand dollars only offered to me with another promise of two million, five hundred thousand dollars.
On why he did not inform the House in session, Lawan stated in the letter that he kept mute on the matter because it would overshadow the essence of the fuel subsidy probe.
Lawan stated in the letter, a copy of which was made available to journalists, I had considered bringing this issue as a matter of privilege on the floor of the House later today (April 24), but I am concerned that the controversy it will generate will dwarf the contents of the report, which needs public attention so that necessary reforms in the sector could be affected.
He said, Given the desperation of Mr. Otedola, handling this matter, in a firm but diplomatic manner is necessary as he has also made some veiled threats which put me and members of the committee in a delicate situation.
The ad hoc committee chairman also disclosed in another letter to the House leadership that the clerk of the committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo, had, in a letter written to him on April 24, 2012, said Otedolaoffered him $100,000.
Otedola had, in an interview with a national newspaper on Monday, said Lawan and the secretary of the committee, Mr Emenalo, had collected $620,000 from him in a sting operation masterminded by the security agencies.
Meanwhile, strong indications emerged on Monday that the House of Representatives may cut short its recess, as members are reportedly mounting pressure on the speaker to convene an emergency session over the $3 million bribery scandal rocking the Lawan-led committee that probed the fuel subsidy regime.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that most of the members were not happy over the incident, which was coming at the time the seventh session of the House was still battling with the N44 million bribery allegation leveled against the embattled chairman of the House Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions, Honourable Herman Hembe.
According to most of the lawmakers who spoke with Nigerian Tribune on Monday, the matter had become complicated with Otedola’s confirmation that he actually gave out the bribe, adding that the best thing for the leadership of the House to do was to call for an emergency session, with a view to taking necessary measures to save the image of the House.
One of the lawmakers specifically stated that there was no need for further delay on the matter, since the person who was at the centre of the whole saga had come out openly to confirm that he actually gave out the bribe on the order of security agencies in the country.
This is coming as more revelations emerged on Monday that the embattled ad hoc committee actually made contact with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and reportedly demanded a whopping amount of money from the corporation and other oil marketers in exchange for favourable report.
Nigerian Tribune authoritatively learnt that the NNPC could not meet up with the demand of the committee, as its Group Managing Director (GMD), Mr Austin Oniwon and his management team were said to have resolved not to pay the amount because of the anti-corruption posture of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and its implications should the deal be blown open.
It was gathered that already, security agents are in possession of evidence of the committee’s contacts with the NNPC and other oil marketers, and were reportedly working on those evidence.
Efforts to speak with the officials of the NNPC over the alleged bribery scandal, on Monday, were unsuccessful, as none of them was willing to volunteer information, as those approached claimed that they were still mourning the death of the spokesman of the corporation, Dr Levi Ajuonuma.
However, the House spokesman, Honourable Zakari Mohammed, when contacted by phone, said “we can’t take any action now until we resume from our two-week break.