Exclusive Blogbuster: Farouk Lawan’s side of the story

Exclusive Blogbuster: Farouk Lawan’s side of the story

Posted by Japh on June 12th, 2012 09:52 AM | NEWS

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// // You already know the side of the story that says Femi Otedola gave Farouk Lawan $620,000 and that bit is very much true. This is the part of the drama that has been curiously left out of this whole national mess. You must pay attention to the details to see that whatever it was that happened between Femi Otedola and Honourable Farouk Lawan, the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee’s report cannot be the sacrifice because all these happened after the committee had completed its job. This for me is the most important part of this tale. I met Farouk Lawan last night. This was our second meeting after our first which came up when I needed to pass a simple message to him before his probe report was submitted. The message then was that a lot depended on his committee and history would judge them based on what they did. As far that particular job went, he kept his part of the deal. They did the best they could do. But then, the table turned after that…

Femi Otedola gets the game started:

After the ad-hoc committee had completed its report, Femi Otedola quickly made himself some sort of informant to Farouk Lawan. They exchanged phone calls and text messages with him basically positioning himself as one who knew the ins and outs of the petroleum industry and all the players and their intrigues. They got so close Femi Otedola then offered to make Farouk Lawan and his committee members immune to bribes from those indicted by the report. Ironically, this he allegedly did by promising that he and Aliko Dangote would make money available to the committee members to ensure they’d not be tempted by the oil marketers indicted in the report. By this time, Farouk Lawan had come to see Femi Otedola as one who meant well for the team and the work – the report.

After all said and done, some $620,000.00 was given to Farouk Lawan (with Boniface Emenalo) for himself and his committee members by Femi Otedola with the promise that Aliko Dangote would make most of the rest available.

On collecting the said money, in instalments with Boniface Emenalo, the clerk of the Subsidy Probe committee, they made the money available to the leadership of the house, the Speaker of the House Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the chairman House Committee on Drugs/Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba. Hon. Farouk Lawan who has been in the Federal House of Representatives since 1999 said the Chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Lamourde was also informed of this transaction at the time.

Farouk Lawan: he should have known better

The decision to table the money and the details of the Otedola money before the house was foiled by none other than the Chairman of the ruling party PDP Bamanga Tukur to make sure the issue was never brought before the house. Note that, Femi Otedola was the one who made some N800 million available to the Law Makers as they hastened to pass the “doctrine of necessity” ruling that ensured then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was made the acting President in the face of delays and uncertainties. Femi Otedola whose relationship with then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became strengthened by the fact that former President Yar’ Adua had sidelined him in preference for Aliko Dangote. Ever since President Jonathan became the nation’s number one, Femi Otedola has since enjoyed a cosy relationship with the President.

With the initiative of doing the right thing seized from them by the Chairman of their Party, Bamanga Tukur, it was a matter of time the game players turned the table on Farouk Lawan and his committee’s clerk Boniface Emenalo. Everyone knows how Bamanga Tukur became Chairman. President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP machinery ensured there was no election because the same Bamanga Tukur had been well and truly beaten in his zone’s elections just days before the party’s National Convention. He was foisted on the party a week after that disgraceful defeat. As Chairman, it is easy to understand whose interest he’d serve.

Femi Otedola: whose interest was he serving?

Having lost the initiative by just keeping the Otedola money within a closed unit as requested by the Chairman of the Party, the table turned on Farouk Lawan when Femi Otedola became the one making the issue public. Rather be the accuser, Farouk Lawan became the defender, the very place those who started the whole stage managed process wanted him. The man with the message of hope had suddenly become the man who had to defend himself.

Discredit the Messenger, discredit the Message:

Farouk Lawan has since become the human embodiment of the fuel subsidy probe report. He was the bearer of the message that indicted some of Nigeria’s most powerful individuals. Were we to further investigate the flow of the looted subsidy funds, it would not take a James Bond to know that the successful electoral campaigns of some PDP candidates immensely benefitted from the looting. Having managed to do a good job of exposing these “untouchables,” the above events looked like a last ditch attempt at discrediting the messenger. That way, the message suffers. In this case though, the message was delivered before the messenger got discredited. Had the President – who has also been indicted as a beneficiary of the looted subsidy funds via his ultra-expensive campaign – done something about the report when it was adopted by the House, the message would have resulted in at least sacked ministers and arrested marketers. Sadly though, you need not look too hard to see that while Nigerians were crying for something to be done about the Probe Panel’s report, those that needed to do that “something” were working overtime to shoot the messenger. But then, this messenger had delivered the message. Whatever the case may be, the fuel subsidy probe report remains independent of this Otedola bribe scandal because everything about the report had been done and dusted before the powers that be sent Otedola on this dance of shame.

My Conclusion:

One thing is clear in all of these. The PDP runs our country like a village thrift association. Where matters as serious as a monumental bribe are said to be kept away from the public by the party’s National Chairman in order to save the party, shows a party that would not think twice about sacrificing national interest for its increasingly parochial interests. It is the Party that has ensured the likes of Ibrahim Lamourde of the EFCC and the principal members of the House of Representatives who knew about the Otedola money have since kept quiet. Silence of course in this case means “I don’t know anything about it” which very much serves the interest of those who want the messenger down to kill the message. Will all of those who were informed of this money now talk, will come out to say they told Farouk Lawan to keep within the house. If they don’t, Farouk Lawan, whether he knows it or not, whether he admits it or not, would have become another victim of a party that never bothers about the cost of its victories as long as it gets them. It is called Do-or-dieism. Will the principal members of the house who were privy to all of these release a public statement to state that much or will they use the excuse of being on recess as a form of alibi? That question can only be answered by the PDP. All of these have happened because a political party and its opportunist office holders want to make sure the fuel subsidy probe dies a natural death by depriving it of credibility.

This is my personal opinion: Whoever has done anything criminal must face the law and justice, the same way those who used the power of their relationship to defraud Nigerians of over N2 trillion under the guise of subsidy must do the same. The fuel subsidy probe should not suffer for this. It was not affected by this. The

PDP must remember Nigeria is not its BOT quorum. It is either the PDP’s reign in Nigeria ends, or Nigeria ends. Mark my words, these two ends are mutually exclusive because as long as PDP continues its reign of terror, corruption, barbarism and savagery in Nigeria, there would be no Nigeria soon enough. A lot of state power and resources have been made available to get this done, what if the same energy was expended to getting the subsidy thieves prosecuted? Then again, you cannot arrest your own thief can you? There is a lot more to these I am sure I am not privy to but I know the national interest is far from the heart of the big players.

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