House Of Reps Ethics Committee Interrogates Farouk Lawan Over $620,000 Bribe…Summons Otedola
House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges mandated by the federal lawmakers to investigate allegations of bribery against suspended Chairman of the House ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy payments, Farouk Lawan today began its sitting behind closed doors where for over three hours Lawan was interrogated by the panel members on allegations against him.
The embattled lawmaker was alleged to have collected along with the secretary to the ad hoc committee, Boniface Emenalo from the Chairman of Zenon Petoleum and Gas, Femi Otedola a total cash of $620,000 out of an agreed bribe sum of $3 million to give the oil marketer and his company a clean bill of health in the subsidy probe report.
Though Lawan in his previous public statements admitted collecting the bribe, he however claimed that he wanted to use it as an evidence to prove that Otedola was trying to induce the ad hoc committee. Sources at the closed sitting today told ireports-ng.com in Abuja that Lawan denied succumbing to pressure from Otedola and blamed the saga on a political script written by forces in the presidency.
Speaking with newsmen after the secret sitting today, chairman of the ethics committee, Gambo Musa disclosed that the panel quizzed Lawan to get his own side of the story, adding that”desired answers were gotten from him” . “We touched every area regarding the allegation and i will say that we got satisfactory answer to every question”, he added.
He defended the panel’s decision to sit behind close doors in order not to disturb police investigations into the matter. “You know the police is investigating this matter, we dont want this probe to affect police investigation”, Musa stated adding that “We don’t want witnesses to know what the other person said so that they do not toe similar line.”
He expressed the hope that Otedola will appear before the committee on July 3 following an invitation extended to him, stressing that “we expect Otedola to appear before the committee next week. We are also expecting many others who are involved in the matter”.