Fresh scandal brews over Farouk Lawan’s $600,000 bribery scandal
BY OKEY NDIRIBE AND EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA-There are indications that fresh trouble is brewing at the House of Representatives over allegations that Chairman of the House’s Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Hon. Farouk Lawan was involved in a bribery scandal worth $600,000 last month.
Already there are speculations that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have invited Hon Lawan over the bribery allegation which sources say have already resulted in the Speaker of the House Hon. Aminu Tambuwal disowning the legislator over the messy incident.
It was gathered that Tambuwal had confronted Lawan over the issue in a meeting of Principal officers of the House where the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy was summoned to defend himself over the allegation.
Sources said that Hon. Lawan had initially denied the allegation when it was put to him by the Speaker but froze in shock when he was confronted with details of what transpired at the address where officials of an unnamed oil company had given him the huge amount of foreign currency which had been marked.
It was further gathered that unknown to Hon Lawan, the entire incident was recorded by video after which copies were sent to a former Head of State who handed it over to Tambuwal.
It would be recalled that in the wake of the controversy that was generated over the Federal Government’s planned total withdrawal of subsidy from petroleum products last January, the House of Representatives set up the Adhoc Committee to probe how the subsidy fund that was appropriated by the National Assembly in the past had been disbursed.
Among the findings of the House was that despite the fact that only N400 billion was appropriated for payment of oil subsidy in 2011, over one trillion naira was spent. It was also alleged that a lot of the payments were made to phoney companies.