Farouk Gate: “Give us a public interrogation”… Femi Otedola snubs close door inquiry


    Hon Farouk Lawan on the House floor

    Mr Femi Otedola, one of the parties to the nation’s worse public sell-out bribe scandal,  is seeking for a public view of the current investigation being conducted over the scandal.

    Otedola is of the view that interrogation by the House of Reps committee on Ethics into the $620000 bribery scandal, currently before the House must be conducted with all Nigerians witnessing.

    Otedola is shunning an indoor inquiry so the public can be a party to the facts and details of how Otedola and Farouk got the scandal on their schedule  template and in order to avoid evidence doctoring and prejudice .

    He appeared before the Ethics committee on Tuesday and  refused giving evidence, challenging the members  to conduct the hearing in public view.

    According to him, what took place in darkness must be viewed in the light.

    His call was immediately seconded by many legal experts who had previously held the views that  corruption cases investigation must be  the exclusive rights of police investigators and not an issue for the House of reps to handle. Many have held the opinion that if  at all the House is given such responsibility, there must be transparency.

    A source said in London: “Lawal is a member of House of Representative which in solidarity might be making it impossible for the house to show ultimate honesty and transparency.

    There had  been hindsight contention previously held by millions of Nigerians across the world just as investigation of the $620,000 bribery  leveled against the former House of Representatives Committee on oil Subsidy Farouk Lawan  commenced. Many had highlighted the House of Reps hypocrisy.

    To many minds, the house members through this Farouk-Gate probe is up for a major cover-up  of its business of corrupt practices and moving in the  usual shady deals business as usual tag.

    Many Nigerians had spoken against the House probing its own member in a sensitive nation sell-out corruption  case.

    “Why are we being fooled and allowing  the house acting complainant, defendants,  prosecutor, the jury and the judge over the bribery scandal?”, asked a London based social critic.

    Just as the bribe deal was blown open last month, the House members spontaneously and suspiciously rallied to cocktail  a blackmail scenario against president Goodluck Jonathan, claiming he was out to remove the Speaker of House of Representative because the two never agreed and that Jonathan was looking for a way to blackmail the House of Reps speaker to get him impeached.

    “The circumstances of such solidarity declaration was questionable because there was no reason for it except to  indirectly tell us that all the  House members were guilty and tried to cover up”, the social critic continued

    The claim had brewed up a suspicion of attempt to shield-off the House speaker,  Aminu Tambowal in case his name surfaced during probe into the scandal.

    Farouk Lawan appeared before the committee last week Thursday, mouthing that he would be justified as a victim rather than the real suspect.

    Many sponsored groups had acted on behalf of Lawan, issuing propaganda press releases that he  was being set up by the presidency.

    Many Nigerians will support  Chairman of Zeno oil and gas, Femi Otedola’s viewpoint held  on Tuesday that evidence must be given in public glance.

    Mr Otedola who had painted a graphic picture of how the bribe had been  sought and how he handed over the the bribe offering  process to the security services who sent a sum of $620,000 marked notes in Dollars to Lawan and the House clerk had claimed that Lawan blackmailed him into offering the money . The collection of the money was recorded secretly in audio and video.

    On Tuesday, Otedola refused to speak with the committee that invited him to shed light on the accusation hat he offered $620,000 to Mr Lawan.

    The oil mogul claimed he would not favour a secret investigation adding that whatever is done in darkness must be revealed in public.

    According to Otedola,  anything done in darkness must always come to light, fearing that an act of solidarity for Lawan could jeopadise.

    However, A London based legal practitioner argued that corruption probe should be an exclusive right of the police and not that of  house members many of who are inter connected in the house and who may hold the view that any implication of Lawan would mean a major indictment of the  House as a dangerous haven for the nation’s destruction through corrupt practices.