House Member Farouk Lawan has been allowed to go for lesser Hajj after giving an undertaking to return to Nigeria for trial.
The suspended chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on fuel subsidy Regime was stopped from proceeding on the trip at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos by service operatives on Tuesday night.
But at about 11pm, he was cleared for the journey after the intervention of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The embattled lawmaker said he wrote the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. M.D. Abubakar on Tuesday for permission to travel for the lesser Hajj.
He said the permission was granted.
Lawan, who is due for trial in the cash-for-clearance scandal, was temporarily barred from the trip in order to determine his mission and secure assurance that he will return to the country after lesser Hajj.
A source said: “It is the standard practice that when you are under investigation for alleged bribery or corrupt act, the security agencies must know about your movement.
“There was no record that he sought clearance to travel.
“So, security agencies did the needful to temporarily halt the journey, until they got a solid directive from above.
“What happened was that following fears that he might miss his flight, Lawan placed desperate calls to many people, including the NSA.
“He told the NSA that he had sought permission from the IGP. He also gave an undertaking to the NSA that he would return to Nigeria after the lesser Hajj. He said he had no reason to be on the run.
“The NSA also had superior information that Lawan followed due process before heading for Saudi Arabia .
“Based on the intervention and directive of the NSA, Lawan was allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser Hajj.
“Actually, he did not miss his flight after clearance. By our records, he was the last passenger to board Emirates Airline on Tuesday night.”
Chief Mike Ozekhome(SAN), his lawyer said Lawan will be back in two weeks’ time.
Ozekhome, who issued a statement last night, said the lawmaker also got permission from the police to travel to Saudi Arabia.