The Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola, on Tuesday honoured the invitation of the House of Representatives Ethics and Privileges Committee probing his alleged $620,000 bribe to the suspended Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Farouk Lawan which probed the management of the fuel subsidy fund.
The committee then went into a closed door session. However, Mr Otedola requested the hearing should be conducted in public.
“I strongly believe that the interest of the public will not be best served if this investigation is held in-camera,” he said.
The committee had invited the billionaire businessman to explain allegations that he gave $620,000 bribe to Mr Lawan, and the erstwhile secretary, Boniface Emenalo, to get his companies off the list of firms indicted for the alleged mismanagement of oil subsidy funds.
Below is Mr Otedola’s speech:
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges,
Honorable Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges,
This is a matter that has generated a lot of public interest and controversy.
The House of Representatives Committee on the Management of Fuel Subsidy headed by Hon. Farouk Lawan held all its sittings in public.
When this issue arose, the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges publicly stated that its investigations will be held in public.
It is therefore surprising and curious that this committee has made a U-turn to hold its investigative sittings in-camera particularly in the light of unfolding events.
I strongly believe that the interest of the public will not be best served if this investigation is held in-camera.
I have nothing to hide and will only speak on this issue when the press and interested Nigerians are allowed to be present at the sittings of this committee.
Femi Otedola, CON
3rd July, 2012.