Embattled Representative Farouk Lawan returned home from police custody yesterday but under one condition: he must produce the alleged $620,000 bribe not later than this week, according to a police source.
He had been in detention for 72 hours.
His lawyer however dismissed any such suggestion.
Mr. Israel Olorundare (SAN) said his client signed no such undertaking.
Lawan who was suspended by his colleagues as Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management, at an emergency session on Friday, has hired four Senior Advocates of Nigeria including Olorundare to handle his case.
The others are: Mr. Rickey Tarfa , Mr. Sam Ologunorisa , and Chief Mike Ozekhome .
The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Task Force (STF), Mr. Ali Amodu granted Lawan bail at about 4pm yesterday in the presence of one of the counsels, Tarfa.
The bail was contingent on, according to a police source, a written undertaking by Lawan to produce the alleged bribe sum of $620,000.
His international passport which was seized by the police during a search on his residence in Abuja on Friday has not been released.
It was gathered that the police decided to grant him bail to avoid running afoul of the law which prohibits detention without trial beyond 24 hours.
It was also learnt that the police got intelligence report that Lawan’s counsel were planning a N500million suit for detaining the lawmaker beyond the provision of the law.
Another source said since the case will now be handled by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, it might start suo moto ,thus making Lawan’s bail inevitable.
A police source said: “We have granted Lawan bail but his movement is still restricted to Nigeria. We still have his international and diplomatic passports with us.
“The good thing is that the House will resume sitting on Tuesday, he has cause to be in the country.
“As part of the bail bond, we insisted on a written undertaking that he will provide the bribe sum and give it to the police. He is due to report at the Force Headquarters on Monday.
“So, we expect him to either produce the bribe sum on Monday or anytime next week. We know he has hidden the bribe sum, he will now go to where he kept it for retrieval.”
On why the Police granted Lawan bail, the source added: “If you are in charge of enforcing law, you must also respect the law.
“We did not want to keep him in custody beyond the days allowed by the law. Or else, the case will assume a new dimension of violation of human rights.”
One of Lawan’s counsels , Olorundare, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “Yes, Lawan has been granted bail with an undertaking. We are battle ready for any legal action.”
But contacted last night, Olorundare disputed the police claim that Farouk wrote an undertaking to bring the $620,000.
He said: “Based on what Lawan told me, he said he wrote an undertaking to facilitate how to get to the chairman of the House committee on Narcotics, Drugs and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba whom they want to ask questions about the whereabouts of the bribe sum.
“To the best of my knowledge, he did not say he will produce the bribe sum. Even in the undertaking, he did not give any timeframe when he will link up with Jagaba but it might be before the end of next week.”
via The Nation
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