Mr Femi Otedola
Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja
Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Mr Femi Otedola, yesterday restated his earlier request to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges to conduct the ongoing investigations into the $620,000 bribery scandal in the open.
Otedola said the demand to conduct the investigation in the full glare of the media and the general public was to erase suspicion and avoid misrepresentation of facts in the testimonies of witnesses.
The clarification came on the heels of some media reports credited to a member of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon Ibrahim Bello, on what transpired when Otedola appeared before the committee last week.
In a statement released by his solicitor, Mr Babajide Koku (SAN), Otedola denied claims by the lawmaker that he confessed to the panel that he had no video clips of his transactions with Hon Farouk Lawan.
The statement read thus: “Our client’s attention has been drawn to the statement credited to Hon. Ibrahim Bello, a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Ethics and Privileges.
This statement was published on Monday 9th July, 2012 in the Guardian Newspapers under the caption “Rep claims Otedola has no video-clip on $620,000 bribe” and the Nation Newspapers under the caption: ‘Otedola denied giving out Lawan’s tape, says Rep.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that the statement credited to Hon. Ibrahim Bello is entirely false and calculated to misrepresent and misinform the public as to what transpired during the closed door hearing held by the House Committee on the 3rd of July, 2012.
“We wish to state further, that there are video and audio recordings corroborating our client’s account of what that transpired between him and Hon. Farouk Lawan.
“It is pertinent to emphasise that our Client at no time during the proceedings of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges denied the authenticity of the audio recordings broadcasted by the media but only stated that he was not the one that gave the audio recordings to the media houses.”
“This further gives credence to our clients believe that it is in the interest of truth and justice that any hearing into the allegation of bribery against Hon. Farouk Lawan must be held in public and in an unbiased and transparent manner,” said Koku.