The House of Representatives has dismissed the broadcast of purported audio records of how Mr Farouk Lawan allegedly collected $620,000 bribe from Mr Femi Otedola. They believe it is part of attempts to distract the lower chamber of the National Assembly from its commitment to ensure that the report of its ad-hoc committe on petroleum subsidy is implemented.
This assertion was made by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Zakari Mohammed, while briefing newsmen on the activities of the House during the week.
On what transpired between Otedola and members of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Tuesday, Mohammed said the House had no problem with the oil mogul.
Said he: ”We are not trying Otedola, he was only invited as a witness in a case of alleged misconduct against our colleague.”
Throwing light on why the committee decided to hold its investigative hearing on the bribe saga in camera, Mohammed said it wasn’t only the Houses’s Committee that observed such rules, citing the orderly room trial and court martial normally undergone by policemen and military personnel involved in misconduct as examples.
Said he: ”Even the Ethics Committee of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, sits in camera when hearing cases of misconduct involving lawyers,” and urged relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that the report of the ad-hoc committee was fully implemented, acknowledging that it had been partly implemented.
He denied that the House was trying to cover up the case involving Lawan, adding that “he was on his own.”
He explained why Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.owned by Otedola had to be relisted among companies indicted by the House, adding that it was because of the circumstances surrounding its initial delisting.
He further stated that what was happening was that the House was paying the price for some of the decisions it took on behalf of the Nigerian people.