- How He Fell Into a Big Trap
- Fresh Multi-Million Bribery Trails House Emergency Session
After spending 48 hours in police custody, the former chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy probe, Rep Faruk Lawan, was yesterday freed.
Lawan and the committee’s former secretary, Boniface Emenalo who were alleged to have received the sum of $620,000 in bribe from the chairman of Zenon Oil Femi Odetola were questioned by the Police Special Task Force over bribery and subsequently detained.
They went to the police headquarters last Thursday following a police summon. The bribe money was meant to cover the alleged wrongdoings of Otedola’s firm in the fuel subsidy scam investigated by the committee.
Our reporter, who visited Lawan’s residence shortly after he was released from detention, said the lawmaker was in high spirits and was wearing smiles.
Lawan’s aide said the police did not give any conditions for Lawan’s release from their custody.
He said, “if they had attached any conditions, we would have rejected the bail.”
But Deputy Force Public Relations Officer and Chief Superintendent Frank Mba said the lawmaker was granted conditional bail and was asked to report back to the police on Monday (tomorrow).
“Subsequently he will be expected to provide information to the police,” Mba stressed.
When asked whether or not bail terms were signed between Lawan and the task force, he said, “There is no way he can be granted bail without signing bail obligations. That is why the exercise is called bail.”
He said police were still looking for additional data on the matter before going to court. “We have to tidy up our case files before going to court. That is why we are looking for information from him,” he said.
In the same vein, the aide said Lawan’s legal team had been briefed to file a law suit against the federal government, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke and Inspector General of Police Mohammed Dikko Abubakar for violating the fundamental human right of the legislator by detaining him for more than 24 hours.
The aide said Lawan was not asked to report back to the Police headquarters. “We believe if they want to see him they will invite him, but for now they didn’t say anything to that effect,” the stated.
When our reporter sought to speak to him, Lawan declined. In the wake of the $620,000 bribery allegations involving former chairman of the House ad-hoc committee on subsidy probe Farouk Lawan (PDP, Kano), foot-soldiers of the Presidency allegedly attempted to dissuade members from attending the emergency session last Friday and frustrate moves by the House to isolate Farouk Lawan to face the corruption charges.
A senior politician of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he was in the knowledge of money being shared to MPs. “Members were given N1 million each within the week ahead of the emergency session to sponsor an impeachment motion against Tambuwal and his deputy Emeka Ihedioha,” the source said.
Also, a lawmaker who said he was approached and given N1 million said the plot was coordinated by a ranking member from one of the North-West states.
“We were also invited to a meeting through text messages and some people went to the Villa for meetings at different times within the period”, the lawmaker said.
The source said but for the emergency session summoned by Tambuwal, they (Presidency) had planned to utilise this weekend to perfect their plot against Tambuwal, “so when we were called to resume on Friday, they had little time to finalise the moves. They had also planned to rent a crowd that would have barricaded the entrance of the National Assembly to protest and call for the resignation of Tambuwal and the entire leadership.”
Sunday Trust was also told that the planned protest by a rented crowd may still be perfected on Tuesday when the House resumes plenary session. Daily Trust (a sister publication of Sunday Trust) had exclusively reported that the plot to rope in Tambuwal may have begun when the State Security Service (SSS) invited him to its headquarters in Abuja to ‘share ideas’ over the bribe allegations even before it found its way to the public, but he was said to have resist attempts to be used to collect the ‘bribe money’ from Farouk Lawan.
Source: Sunday Trust