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$3m Subsidy Scandal: Why Farouk Lawan may go down alone

Otedola’s letter to SSS  exonerates him

Contrary to the widely held belief by some Nigerians including prominent legal luminaries, that following Police investigation of the $620, 000 subsidy bribe money collected by Hon. Farouk Lawan, from  oil magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, that both the giver and the  taker, would face the music and bag jail sentences as stipulated by the law, Saturday Vanguard can report authoritatively that contrary would be the case.

Going  by our reporter’s investigation, only Hon. Farouk Lawan is destined for prosecution and possible jail term  if  the rule of law is allowed to take its course.

This is because it has emerged that before the bribe money was given to Hon. Farouk Lawan, Chairman, House Probe Committee and Hon. Emenalo, his secretary in a sting-like operation with marked money from the SSS, Mr. Femi Otedola had written a petition to the State Security Services (SSS) on the 18th of May 2012, detailing the intimidation, harassment and demands of bribes in huge foreign currencies from the House Probe Committee on oil subsidy”.

Unknown to the Chairman and members of the Subsidy Probe Committee, they kept on witch-hunting and pressuring Mr. Otedola  that he must present the bribe money before final action is taken on the report but by then, security agencies had began monitoring their actions.

It was against this backdrop that the plan to rope the Chairman and Secretary of the Probe Committee was hatched by the SSS, who briefed Otedola on what to do and how to go about giving Farouk the money so that both the video and audio recordings can be properly captured.

Having established that the money was marked and belonged to the SSS even though the money can no longer be recalled from those who ‘shared’ it, sources told Saturday Vanguard that the Police investigating team are therefore at a loss as to why some segments of the society would suggest that both Chief Otedola and Hon. Farouk should face the music.

“It is like when  we go out to arrest dare-devil armed robbers and other criminals. Security agencies sometimes set traps for these criminals by planting people in  their  midst or get  informants among their members. At the end of a successful operation and the objective is met, the person planted is let off the hook, and  if he is a member who played along with the detective, he is given soft landing.

“In the case of Otedola, he reported to security agencies that he was being threatened that unless he gave bribe, for an offence he believed he did not commit, he would be roped in.. In the character of investigation, the people he reported against were investigated. When it was discovered it was true, Otedola was used as a bait to trap these persons and they fell for it. How is it possible that Otedola will now become a guilty party? The money in question is not his own and we have records and evidence to show it was collected”.

Meanwhile, Saturday Vanguard can report that Police detectives investigating the scam have commenced putting finishing touches to their report with a view to taking the matter to court as Farouk Lawan’s continued insistence  that he gave the money to Hon. Adams Jagaba can no longer be relied on since Jagaba himself has dismissed the allegation.

It would be recalled that apart from a letter written by Adams Jagaba, Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, dissociating himself from collecting the $620, 000 bribe money from Hon. Farouk, he personally visited the Special Task Force where he was made to sit face to face with Hon. Farouk and he told Farouk point blank that he lied by saying he gave him (Jagaba) the money.

He told the Police there and then that if Farouk insisted he gave him Jagaba the money, he should produce evidence, a reply Farouk could not respond to before the Police team of investigators.



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