Police quiz Lawan as search for $620,000 bribe continues (What a joke)Latest Politics, Nigerian Police Thursday, June 21st, 2012
PENSE and curiosity were palpable at the House of Representatives and the Force Headquarters, Abuja yesterday as the two institutions continued their search for the $620,000 bribe, a member, Farouk Lawan, received.
While the House is tracing the whereabouts of the money, Lawan, the chairman of the House Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Monitoring, who collected the bribe from businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, will appear before the police today in Abuja.
On Tuesday, the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, had asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba, to respond to Lawan’s allegations that he had the custody of the money. Tambuwal forwarded a letter from the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, seeking the release of the money as exhibits.
But Jagaba quickly denied knowledge of the money and its whereabouts. In his refutation of Lawan’s claims, Jagaba said he did not in his personal and official capacity saw, nor took possession of the money.
Lawan had last week submitted himself to the police based on invitation by the senior officers probing the scandal. The Guardian learnt yesterday that the police had expected Lawan to tender the money he allegedly collected as bribe from Otedola (chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited).
Sources at the Police High Command disclosed to The Guardian yesterday that the investigators led by the Head of Special Task Force, Ali Amodu, were compiling the final report after the interim one they presented to Abubakar, last Monday.
The team, it was learnt had extended its probe to other oil companies that appeared before the Lawan-led panel with a view to ascertaining whether overtures were also made to them or whether it was only Zenon that was approached with the bribe request.
The police have allegedly extracted statements from some members of the committee and so far, with most of them distancing themselves from the incident.
Tambuwal, The Guardian further learnt had asked other members of the committee to disclose all they know about the deal to facilitate the work of the police.
Lawan is also expected to appear at the Force Headquarters to give them an update on his consultation with his colleagues in the panel.
A senior police officer said: “Lawan is being expected tomorrow (today) to give us an update on his consultations.”
Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mbah, said investigations were still on, adding, “when we reach a convenient position on the matter, we will let the public know.”
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