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$3.4 Million Bribery Scandal: Lawan Says ‘It Wasn’t Me’

By on June 11, 2012

Subsidy probe lead investigator Farouk Lawan has categorically denied allegations that he collected a $ 600,000 bribe from an oil baron close to the presidency.

The denial came late Sunday evening, after allegations implicating the Chairman of the ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy had floated over internet and social media. According to the earlier reports, Lawan was approached by a top oil baron in the company and promised $ 3.4 million to soft-pedal or entirely remove the baron’s company name from being mentioned in the report.

Lawan was said to have been captured on a discrete camera hidden in a pocket pen negotiating the bribe and collecting the initial $ 600,000 installment.

In his strongly worded denial, Lawan stated that the personality in the video was a caricature and not he.

His words, “I am aware that in their desperation to discredit the report and divert the attention of the public from the real issues of large scale fraud in high places established in our report, a video footage displaying a caricature of my person allegedly having a dealing with a marketer reminiscent of the military era when dignitaries were invited to the Villa to watch a video clip of a phantom coup involving Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is already in circulation.”

He added, “The present mudslinging is not unexpected in view of the calibre of people whose actions and inactions were found wanting in the report.”

Lawan also stated that in fact more bribes were offered to which he drew the attention of the general public.

He said, “The general public is hereby reminded that during and after the investigations, we have severally raised alarm on pressures on us from different quarters,” he said.  “In particular, I wish to refer to the front-page publication in the Leadership Weekend newspaper of 28th April 2012, captioned “Marketers Offered Subsidy Committee Planeload of Dollars,” where we alerted the public that a marketer promised to fly in a jet loaded with US Dollars which he “intended to share to both the House Leadership and members of the ad-hoc committee” to influence the outcome of the report.”