A recent development has noted that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has received the much talked about video tape of the alleged bribery transaction.
When Femi Otedola initially made news of the alleged bribery scandal public, he claimed he had a video to back it up. Mr Otedola said the video shows Mr Lawan collecting the $620,000 bribe from him.
Vanguard reports that the Inspector General of Police has now received the tape from the State Security Service, SSS, and commenced further investigation of the scandal.
This is sequel to the directive by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, that the report submitted by the Police Special Task Force probing the $620,000 subsidy bribe scandal, be re-investigated and grey areas cleared.
Vanguard also gathered that since the receipt of the video and commencement of investigation to clear grey areas, there had been immense pressure on the IGP by some members of the House of Representatives, prominent northern citizens and politicians.
Accusations that the bribery scam issue was allegedly a set up by the Presidency to rubbish the integrity of the House have also resurfaced.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lawan had continued to report to the police every two days and signs attendance register, though the police are in a fix as to whether to join Femi Otedola, the complainant as a suspect.
A member of the House of Rresentatives Ethics and Privileges Committee, Ibrahim Bello said that Oil magnate, Femi Otedola has denied releasing the audio tape of his purported telephone conversation with the suspended Chairman of the ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk Lawan to the media.
Mr Bello, who disclosed this to journalists said “when the committee asked Otedola how the media station got the audio tape, he told us to … summon the media house and demand how they came about the tape.
“He denied the audio clip. All he said at the meeting was that Farouk Lawan lied four times and that’s all. What I am saying is on record and we have it.”
Mr Bello, however, said rules are meant to be followed, irrespective of status, which is responsible for the insistence of the Committee to hold its sessions behind closed-doors.
He said: “Nobody can come and bend our rules. We don’t have any business with Otedola. I said it before his lawyer, who told him not to talk with us and answer our questions. He was only a witness before us and we told him categorically. We have ten lawyers in the ethics and privileges committe
“But he came with a Senior Advocate who sat beside him and told him not to answer our questions. He didn’t know that Otedola was only a witness before us and we told him categorically
“But the position of the Nigerian law as at today is that he who gives graft and he who receives are both culprits. You are not a member of the parliament and you were alleged to have given one of us something which is illicit, then, you are the best person to come before the Committee and tell us the true position of what transpired before you and him”.
The lawmaker said the importance of the case would not give room for laxity as the integrity of the House as an institution is at stake.
“This particular issue is a unique case. As a committee, our business is the conduct of affairs of our members. But this matter is unique because it involves somebody who gave and somebody who took. The allegation is that somebody who is not a parliamentarian gave to a parliamentarian.
“And we in the parliament want to ascertain the veracity of the claim. Are we going to import a demon to come and find out what transpired between Otedola and Lawan?”
“It’s a matter whereby the onus is on Otedola to come before us and give us justification testifying to the fact that truly he gave Lawan graft because he is an accused person too by virtue of our laws. So, can you see the fallacy in this country? We don’t know who is protecting the accused person here.
“He (Lawan) came and we interrogated him for almost four hours after giving his testimony he left, with the arrangement that whenever we need his presence he will come back. Now he (Otedola)is insisting that we should go into a public hearing”.
Channels Television obtained an audio recording purported to be part of the conversation between Honorable Farouk Lawan and Mr Femi Otedola over the $3 Million Bribery Allegation scandal.
Honorable Lawan has been invited by the House Committee on Ethics, investigating this scandal and he was grilled behind closed door.
Meanwhile, Femi Otedola has been invited by the same committee and expected to appear tomorrow morning Tuesday 3rd of July.
Otedola Lawan Conversation – Download Here