Reps Will Not Re-invite Otedola – Committee

Reps Will Not Re-invite Otedola – Committee

When The PUNCH pressed Musa further on Tuesday, he said, “What people did not understand is that the committee was not concerned about Otedola per say.

Reps Will Not Re-invite Otedola – Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were indications on Tuesday that the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges had foreclosed further dealings with oil businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola.

The panel, which is headed by Mr. Gambo Musa, is investigating the $620,000 bribery scandal involving a member of the House, Mr. Farouk Lawan.

Otedola, a principal actor, had offered Lawan the bribe.

The matter is also under investigation by the police.

However, the House, through a resolution, mandated the committee to investigate the allegation.

Investigations by The PUNCH showed that it was not likely that Otedola would be re-invited by the panel for testimonies.

Findings revealed that despite pressures mounted on members to throw the sitting of the panel open, they had resolved to continue to sit in camera.

Otedola had declined to testify in camera when he was invited by the panel, insisting that he would only talk in the open and the full glare of the media.

But, the panel rejected his condition, saying that he could not dictate to the House on how it should run its affairs.

Musa told our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday that the position of the committee was contained in the public statement it made during its last encounter with Otedola.

“Go and check our earlier statement; it is very clear there.

“It is not for me to be making any more statements”, he added.

Following its last encounter with Otedola, the panel had said it would not bend its rules to please the oil magnate.

It had stated that the investigation would go on and it would be reflected in its report that Otedola was invited but he refused to answer the committee’s questions.

When The PUNCH pressed Musa further on Tuesday, he said, “What people did not understand is that the committee was not concerned about Otedola per say.

“We were only interested in our member, whose conduct was called to question.

“Otedola was invited because, being the principal person, who made the allegation, he was to assist the committee in bringing our member to face punishment for his conduct.

“It is the responsibility of security agencies to deal with Otedola and Lawan on another level, not the committee.

“Our work is all about our member, Lawan. But people did not understand this; they thought that were after Otedola.”

Investigations showed that the committee had already quizzed the other seven members of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of Subsidy Regime, besides Lawan.

All of them reportedly denied knowledge of the transaction between Lawan and Otedola.

The PUNCH learnt that the clerk to the committee, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, was also quizzed.

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