Tuesday, 3 July 2012
$620,000 Bribery Scandal:Transcript of the Audio Conversation Between Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola
New twists have continued to surface in the ongoing $620,000 bribery scandal plaguing embattled Chairman of the House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan and the MD/CEO Zenon Oil and Gas, Femi Otedola with the latest being the release of the audio conversation between the duo.
The audio conversation and Lawan's reaction to when you continue...
It was alleged that Lawan collected the sum of $620,000 as part payment for a bribe which he demanded from Otedola in order to clear his two companies Zenon Oil and AP Petroleum, from the fuel subsidy probe which investigated companies that received forex from the Central Bank of Nigeria but failed to bring in the fuel.
Here is the transcript of the audio conversation between Lawan and Otedola, exclusively obtained by Channels Television:
Otedola: How are you sir? I don’t want to bring it to my house
Lawan: Oh, you would take it to your house
Otedola: No I don’t want to bring it to my house; it is a lot of money
Lawan: err… so where? Because I’m rushing to the… they are at the airport now?
Otedola: Yes they are in the airport in the aircraft
Lawan: Well I can’t come over now and before they can come over now unless I send somebody to but I can’t because…by the time they come I should be…I have a lot of things to do myself
Otedola: Is there anybody you think I can give it to or maybe I should just postpone my trip to China till tomorrow?
Lawan: No, no it’s ok…I’ll arrange it with someone…let me give you his number 080
Otedola: hold on hold on
Otedola: (Repeats number after him)What’s the name?
Lawan: aaarrh… TJ
Lawan: No, Tj
Otedola: OK. So I will give him the balance; that is erm… 2.5 million dollars, yea?
Lawan: that’s right. Hold on. I’m calling him to be sure his phone is on…..
Supposedly, Lawan, following this conversation raised a motion of recommendation on 21, April, 2012 that the two companies owned by Otedola be removed from the list of companies fingered by ad hoc committee.
Meanwhile, Lawan has reacted to the audio conversation, describing it as doctored, devilish and manipulative.
In a statement issued on behalf of the lawmaker by his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, he said,
“we have listened to and watched the audio with our client, Mr Farouk Lawan. On his instructions, we hereby state that the audio is infertile, vague, puerile and inadmissible in evidence by any Court Of Law or Tribunal.
“Professionally, Channels did make the vital point that the audio was “purported to be their voices”. One simple question here: where is the visual of the audio? Recall that Mr Otedola had told the whole world that he used SSS to carry out a so called “Sting Operation”, which showed Farouk Lawan not only pocketing the sum of N500,000 US Dollars, but also putting some under his cap, in Mr Otedola’s Lagos home. On Farouk’s instructions, we had debunked this allegation and challenged Mr Otedola, or the Police and SSS to produce this complete audio video, unedited and undoctored.
“Mr Otedola had the opportunity of doing this through Channels TV. But he did not. Rather, he brought highly doctored, manipulated and incomprehensible voices purported to be his and Lawan’s. He will certainly require forensic evidence to prove this to be true in this highly technologised world of manipulative evidence that can easily turn a man into a woman. Certainly, the audio was a sorry anti-climax to what Nigerians had been expecting.
“Even at that, let us take the audio “evidence” itself for whatever, it is worth. The conversation started somewhere in the middle, not from the beginning and ended abruptly. Our client hereby still challenges Mr Otedola to air the entire audio visual and also the complete video for Nigerians to see the setting and environment in which the alleged bribe took place, who said what, to whom and for what.
“Secondly, our client believes that the entire footage is devilish, satanic, luciferous, mischievous and completely taken out of context. Even then the audio shows that it is Mr Otedola offering to pay the balance of the alleged bribe of N2.5 million US Dollars, not Mr Farouk Lawan.
“Even from what was said, there was no mention of the purpose of the alleged balance of N2.5 million US Dollars, or any mention of Mr Otedola’s indicted companies, Zenon Oil and AP Petroleum, Whose desired removal from the Committee’s indicted companies list allegedly formed the fulcrum of the bribe itself. If it was actually a “sting operation”, why is it Mr Otedola and not the SSS officially releasing it on Channels TV? The audio has raised more questions and doubts than answers. Mr Farouk Lawan says it is a doctored anti-climax”.
It seems as though the dust would not be settling any time soon on this case. Your opinion.