“Anything done in the darkness will come out in the lightness,” that is the position of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. Chairman, Femi Otedola.
The oil magnate and his lawyer, Mr. Jide Koku (SAN), were surrounded by a bevy of pressmen eager to get a word out of the oil marketer at the center of a massive bribery allegation that is rocking the House of Representatives.
The Zenon Oil boss who alleged that chairman of the House adhoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan, had demanded a whopping $3 million in bribes from him, of which he only paid $500,000, said he was working as part of a sting operation to take down Lawan.
He answered a summons by the House’s Committee on Ethics and Privileges, but obstinately refuses to be interrogated in private by the committee. In a statement issued by Otedola himself, the oil magnate said:
“The House of Representatives Committee on the Management of Fuel Subsidy headed by Hon. Farouk Lawan held all its sittings in public.
“When this issue arose, the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges publicly stated that its investigations will be held in public
“It is therefore surprising and curious that this committee has made a U-turn to hold its investigative sittings in-camera particularly in the light of unfolding events
“I strongly believe that the interest of the public will not be best served if this investigation is held in-camera
‘Lawan has been inconsistent’
Addressing the press later on Tuesday, counsel for the Zenon Oil boss said Lawan’s guilt was proven by his inconsistency.
“First he denied accepting money and later on turned around to admit that he collected money,” Koku said, with a smiling Otedola standing next to him.
“He said he gave Jagaba money, Jagaba denied receiving money. He said he had discussed the issue with the EFCC chairman, the EFCC chairman denied it.”
The lawyer went on to reiterate his client’s position that “any discussion on this matter must be held in public”.