Lawan: my voice animated Panel, Otedola trade insults
THERE were more revelations yesterday in the $620,000 bribe-for-clearance scandal involving Representative Farouk Lawan and businessman Femi Otedola.
A Lagos television station, which aired on Monday what it described as a purported conversation between the duo, followed up with another yesterday.
The audio tape aired by Channels indicated that the former chair of the House Committee on subsidy management was seeking to collect $2.5 million bribe to get Otedola’s Zenon Oil off the list of companies which got foreign exchange but imported no petrol. But Lawan dismissed the tape as “infantile’’, saying his voice was “doctored”.
In yesterday’s tape, Lawan’s purported voice was heard demanding secrecy in the agreement. Besides, he told Otedola of the strategy to be adopted by the committee to exclude the businessman’s company from the list of indicted companies.
He said he learnt that Otedola had told somebody that he (the Zeon Oil boss) had found a way round the probe problem.
He purportedly pledged to “spring a surprise on the floor” of the House of Representatives.
The businessman kept saying “God bless you” in response to the statement made by the lawmaker in the conversation.
Below is the text of the said conversation as aired on television:
Lawan: When I saw your text; it makes me feel bad. I said… You know the effort I am making?
Otedola: I know, I know
Lawan: No, no, no, no. When you said I’m… That didn’t. Please, this thing we are doing. Keep it to yourself. Otherwise, you will make things difficult for us.
Otedola: Ok. I am, now.
Lawan: You will make it difficult for us because somebody called me now and said that we said we are going to address it.
Otedola: Address what?
Lawan: It is already out that we are going to do something. But when we do it people will think we are doing it because we have promised. If my colleagues get to hear about it, I won’t be able to convince such. So, keep it to yourself. Let it be a top secret. Let it not be like anybody is aware of what is happening. If anybody asks you… Somebody is saying that… They said you know from your record…, they have all your record and you have made a case to the committee.
Otedola: God bless you; God bless you.
Lawan: It is left for the committee to decide what to do. Please keep it that way. But the moment it goes out, when we are going to correct it…
Otedola: Ok, ok.
Lawan: Whether it seems we have already a… So, let it be. I want to spring a surprise on the floor and that is the only credible way to do it. You know your sector is hot so much.
Otedola: God bless you, God bless you, my brother. I’ve been trying…. Anytime I hear your voice….
Lawan: You know your sector is a hot one. You are even hot enough and people are even saying… They said… Somebody just called and said what happened, that Femi has gotten his way round. He has already…. No, no. I am saying it because this is what I hear.
Otedola: But let me tell you one thing. You know me as a person.
Lawan: I know. Don’t make things difficult. Whoever asks, say no. I didn’t do this. I am trying to clear myself from the committee. But I have sent a letter to set the record right. That’s all; yah.
Otedola: Ok, brother. Thank you. Alright.
Time of Recording 1005 hours – 1012 hours
Date of Recording24th April, 2012
via The Nation
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