Otedola Finally Testifies in Court Over Farouk Lawan’s $500,000 ‘Bribe’

The Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, Femi Otedola yesterday told an FCT High Court in Apo that the $500,000 bribe he gave former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan was gotten from the Department of Security Service (SSS).

Lawan is accused of demanding $3million and receiving $500,000 as bribe from Otedola in exchange for the removal of Otedola’s companies’ names from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, Otedola told the court that he gave the $500,000 to Lawan in two tranches of $250,000. He added that the SSS had informed him that they recovered the call logs between him and other parties in the matter. While being cross-examined by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Otedola said his only written communication with the SSS was the petition written to the agency. He added that he was interrogated verbally by the SSS and did not make a written statement, besides his petition. He further said that the camera used in capturing the disbursement of the bribe to Lawan was removed shortly after the defendant left with the money.

Asked if his companies, Zenon Oil and Forte Oil were in the list of companies investigated by Lawan’s committee, he said no.

When Ozekhome told the court that his next line of questions would need the replaying of the alleged bribery tape and that the gadgets needed for the session were not readily available, he asked the court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution to make necessary arrangements.

The trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka, adjourned to March 8 for continuation of hearing.




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