- Category: Corruption
- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 16:00
- Written by Admin
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The controversial oil businessman, Femi Otedola refused to answer questions in camera relating to the $620,000 bribery scandal involving him and a lawmaker, Farouk Lawan before the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Tuesday
Otedola, accompanied by his lawyer, Mr. Jide Koku (SAN) submitted a terse speech that he would only do so if the session would be broadcast live on a national television where Nigerians and the media could watch him.
After 120 minutes behind closed doors, Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Gambo Musa, told journalists, “Unfortunately, he (Otedola) was misguided, either by his lawyer or some people not to talk to us. We did all we could to explain our powers under the constitution (1999), but Otedola refused to answer questions.
“He said that he would do so only in public. He went further to insult us in one way or another but we allowed him.”
Musa added, “We reminded him of the consequences of not answering our questions. We even asked him to produce whatever evidence he submitted to the SSS and the police as proof but he refused.
“How do you solve a problem when someone refuses to talk? He refused to answer our questions and he insulted us; it was very stupid of him because he was just laughing.
“He said he was a businessman and not hungry like us. Are we hungry? Is anyone hungry here?”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Honorable Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Honorable Members, this is a matter that has generated a lot of public interest and controversy.
The House of Representatives Committee on the Management of Fuel Subsidy headed by Hon. Farouk Lawan held all its sittings in public.
When this issue arose, the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges publicly stated that its investigations will be held in public.
It is therefore surprising and curious that this committee has made a U-turn to hold its investigative sittings in-camera particularly in the light of unfolding events.
I strongly believe that the interest of the public will not be best served if this investigation is held in-camera.
I have nothing to hide and will only speak on this issue when the press and interested Nigerians are allowed to be present at the sittings of this committee.
Femi Otedola, CON
3rd July 2012.
The proceedings in the House took place just as a second audio clip of the bribery transaction between Otedola and Lawan hit the airwaves on independent Channels Television. (See full text of the clip)
Transcript of the Second audio tape
Lawan: it wasn’t like my brother talking. That’s one. Secondly, please this thing that we are doing, keep it to yourself otherwise you will make it difficult for us …
Otedola: Ok, ok. I am na
Lawan: Because somebody called me now and said that we said we are going to address it.
Otedola: address what?
Lawan: Yea. Because if it is already out that we are going to do something, when we do it, people will think that we are doing it because we have been compromised. And you know that is something that errrrr… And if my colleagues get to hear about it, I wouldn’t be able to convince them. So keep it to yourself.
Lawan: Let it not be like anybody is aware of what is happening. If anybody ask you, simply explain that this thing, you know from your records. You have all records and you have made a case to the committee. You have sent your documents to the committee
Otedola: Yea, Yea
Lawan: Yea. It’s left for the committee… it’s left for the committee to decide what to do. Please keep it that way.
Otedola: Yea. God bless you. God bless you
Lawan: Yea. Because the moment it gets out now we are going to correct it. Then it means we have already Haaa… so let it be …
Otedola: Ok, Ok
Lawan: I want to spring a surprise on the floor and only that is the only credible way I can do this. So please, please.
Otedola: God bless you. God bless you my brother. I have been crying. Anytime I hear your voice
Lawan: Yes. You know your sector is small. Everybody knows… and people are already saying … Somebody just called now and said Femi has gotten his way around you guys and he has already succeeded.
Otedola: That is not true. But let me also tell you one thing ….
Lawan: No, no, no, no. I am saying it because this is what I heard
Otedola: But my brother, let me also tell you one thing. You know me as a person
Lawan: It doesn’t have… I know… I don’t want
Otedola: People just get up
Lawan: I know. That makes it difficult. Just, just whoever… you know… no. I didn’t do this. I’m sure it must have been a mistake from the committee but I have sent a letter to set the record right
Lawan: That’s all
Otedola: Ok my brother
Lawan: Yea. Yea
Otedola: Ok. Great, Ok
Otedola: Thank you