22 November 2012

Nigeria: U.S.$620,000 Subsidy Bribe - House Committee May Exonerate Farouk Lawan

There are strong indications that the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges chaired by Rep. Gambo Musa Dan Musa (CPC, Katsina) may exonerate former chairman of the House adhoc committee on subsidy probe Farouk Lawan over allegation of $620,000 bribe.

Oil baron Femi Otedola had admitted to giving Lawan the said money in April in what he called "sting operation master minded by the security agencies."

Lawan on his part said he collected the money as exhibit because Otedola had attempted to bribe him in the wake of the submission of the subsidy probe report on April 18the.

The House on June 15 sacked Lawan from the subsidy committee and referred the matter to the Ethics committee for investigation.

However, while Lawan appeared for several times before the committee, Otedola appeared but declined to talk an action that infuriated the panel.

In an interview with Daily Trust, Rep. Ibrahim Bello (CPC, Kaduna) hinted that the committee might clear Lawan since Otedol had declined giving evidence.

"During the investigative hearing we held a five hour hearing grilling Honourable Farouk Lawan on the first day and on the second day it was the turn of Femi Otedola who came with his team of lawyers and we spent 1:30 minutes interrogating him but he declined to give us testimony," Bello said.

However, when contacted on the telephone on Tuesday, committee chair Dan Musa said he was not aware of anything like and that he was not in Abuja.

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