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Farouk Lawan”s statements are afterthoughts – Witness

A prosecution witness, David Igbodo, has told an FCT High Court sitting in Lugbe that statements made by former Chairman of House of Representatives Adhoc…

A prosecution witness, David Igbodo, has told an FCT High Court sitting in Lugbe that statements made by former Chairman of House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk Lawan, are fallacies and afterthoughts.

Igbodo, who is a Commissioner of Police, Legal Section, told the court that the claims by Lawan that the Chairman of Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola, called him over 30 times and texted him and threatened to ruin his future political career with his presidency connection after the Adhoc Committee indicted his companies in the 2012 fuel subsidy inquiry could not be substantiated.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) is prosecuting Lawan for allegedly “corruptly” collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from businessman, Femi Otedola.

Lawan was accused of accepting the bribe in  exchange for the removal of Otedola’s company’s name, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly  abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

At the resumed hearing today, the witness was asked by prosecution counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) if the Police investigated the claims made by the defendant that he reported to the then EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde. The witness said they investigated this claim.

"He did report to the EFCC on the 28/04/2012 that some fuel marketers are bringing plane load of dollars to bribe the adhoc Committee. We also found out that the Chairman of EFCC asked him to come back for a sting operation if the plane load of dollars arrived. However, the defendant never reported to the Chairman of EFCC or any other security agencies that he has collected the sum of $500,000 on 24/04/2012 from Otedola which was caught on video", he said.

He added that the claim that he also reported to the Speaker of House of Representatives was also found to be false. He said they found out that the then speaker (Aminu Tambuwal) called the defendant when the DG of DSS confronted the defendant with the video clip of him collecting $500,000 from Otedola.

He said it was at this point that the defendant knew he was caught on video and that was what generated all the afterthoughts.

"The whole story of a plane load of dollars started when it was revealed to him he was caught on video."

He said they also investigated the claim that the defendant gave the $500,000 to Hon. Jagaba (then Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Drugs and Narcotics) including the $100,000 collected by the Secretary of the fuel subsidy Committee, Emenalo Boniface, and found the claims to be afterthoughts.

"We confronted Hon. Jagaba and he denied it. We brought him and the defendant together and he also denied it in the presence of the defendant."

The witness said they also confronted the security man at Hon. Jagaba’s house who denied the claim  of the defendant that he was at Jagaba’s house between 3 & 4am on the 24/04/2012.

He said they investigated a letter "purportedly" written by the defendant to Hon. Jagaba  on 24/04/2012 by 03:47am and discovered that the letter was an attempt to cover the crime. He added that Jagaba denied seeing or receiving the letter. He said they also discovered that the letter was not signed to be received by anyone.

"We took a critical look at that letter purportedly signed by 3:47am and we found out that it was a lie and even if that letter existed, it was concocted", Igbodo said.

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