Hon. Farouk Lawan
The police will soon arraign the suspended Chairman, House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Monitoring of the Fuel Subsidy Scheme, Hon. Farouk Lawan, and the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba, in court.
THISDAY learnt Wednesday that the police have decided to arraign the duo in order to unearth the whereabouts of the $620,000, which Lawan and the embattled clerk of the ad hoc committee, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, allegedly collected from Chairman, Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola.
The police may arraign them for conspiracy and for collecting bribes, a source familiar with the investigation into the case said Wednesday.
While Lawan by his own admission, collected $500,000 from Otedola, Emenalo collected $120,000 as part payment for a $3 million deal in which the lawmaker made a proposition to Otedola to part with the money so he (Lawan) could delist Zenon from those indicted for the abuse of the fuel subsidy scheme.
However, despite Lawan’s insistence that he gave the $500,000 to Jagaba as evidence that Otedola was trying to influence the report of the ad hoc committee, the latter has stridently denied receiving the said sum.
THISDAY checks revealed Wednesday that having been unable to unearth the whereabouts of the money during investigation into the allegations, since the two lawmakers stuck to their stories, the police have decided to resolve the mystery behind the $620,000 bribe money by charging the two lawmakers to court.
The source said the police were being frustrated by the duo in their bid to recover the money, believed to have been marked.
Lawan, during interrogation by the police special task force headed by Ali Amodu, Commissioner of Police (CP), had said he handed the money with a covering letter to Jagaba.
However, Jagaba, on various occasions, including letters to the House leadership and to the police, said he did not receive such money from Lawan, just as he threatened to sue the beleaguered lawmaker if he kept linking him to the incident.
The source said since the police could not ascertain who was telling the truth, it would be better that the duo be charged together with conspiracy and alleged bribe taking.
“These people (lawmakers) are just making things difficult for the police investigative team by being economical with the truth. Farouk Lawan has been consistently telling the police that he handed over the bribery money to his colleague, Jagaba, who in turn wrote to the police and spoke with the press that he never collected the controversial money from the man.
“As at now, the police are left with no other choice than to charge both men to court. After all, Lawan himself had earlier told the police he would release the money in court. So let them go to the court and release it.
“We don't know who is telling the truth and who is lying between them. I think they are just enjoying their status in the country, or else, they would have been made to face the music since they have been making the case to drag on unnecessarily,” he said.
Although the source could not state with certainty when the case would be brought before the law court due to some amendments currently being undertaken on the case file, he said confidently that the duo would soon be made to face each other in the court.
Meanwhile, Lawan is still expected to report physically to the investigative team at the police force headquarters, Abuja, at least twice weekly as part of his bail conditions.