The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs/Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adams Jagaba, on Tuesday opened up on the $620,000 bribe allegedly collected by Mr. Farouk Lawan from businessman, Femi Otedola.
Jagaba, whose committee oversees the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, wrote the Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, denying to be in possession of the exhibit.
Part of the letter, dated June 19, which The PUNCH obtained on Tuesday, reads, “I wish to categorically and unequivocally state that there was never a time I was in possession of the sum of $620,000 or any other exhibits (in my personal capacity or official capacity as Chairman, House Committee on Drugs/Narcotics and Financial Crimes) relating to the subject matter of the above investigation.
“I hope this explanation lays to rest once and for all the claims that I or my committee is in possession of the sum of $620,000 purportedly given as bribe to the Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.”
Findings indicated that Jagaba was responding to a directive by Tambuwal asking him to respond to a letter from the office of the Inspector-General of Police.
The letter from the IG’s office was signed by the Commissioner of Police, Special Task Force on Subsidy Bribe Investigation, Mr. Ali Amodu.
It requested Tambuwal to retrieve and submit to the police, “the sum of $620,000, which Farouk Lawan admitted to have collected from a marketer and handed over to the House Committees on Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption.”
The letter was dated June 15 and carried a reference number, CR:3000/IGP.SEC/STF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.2/373.
On the other hand, the speaker’s letter to Jagaba was signed by his Special Adviser (Legal&Legislative), Mr. Chile Igbawua.
Tambuwal simply forwarded the IG’s letter to Jagaba with his own letter, directing him to respond to the issue raised therein.
The letter with reference number, NASS/SPK/LEG/VOL.II/294, stated, “The content of the said letter (IG’s) is self-explanatory and the Honourable Speaker has directed that you react urgently to the request in paragraph 1(I) Therefore to facilitate his action.”
As the development unfolded, the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Information Communication Technology, Mr. Yusuf Tajudeen, commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Tambuwal for their commitment to implementing the report of the subsidy probe.
Tajudeen, who represents Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency of Kogi State, said it was heartwarming that Jonathan promised the nation not to sweep the report under the carpet.
Meanwhile, some youths staged a protest at the gate of the National Assembly on Tuesday demanding detailed investigation into the bribery scandal.
Their coordinator, Mr. Solomon Adodo, said Nigerian youths were unhappy with developments at the National Assembly.