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Court to Hear Otedola’s N250 billion Suit Against House, Lawan and Tambuwal

By on November 9, 2012

Hon. Farouk Lawan

The legal tussle between oil mogul, Femi Otedola and the embattled former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawal is set to begin November 23.

The date was fixed yesterday by the presiding judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke of the Abuja High Court.

The Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Otedola had in a suit he filed before the high court requested that the House of Representatives should be compelled to pay him N250 billion as compensation for business losses, following his alleged indictment by the probe panel.

He similarly cited the Speaker of the House of Reps, Aminu Tambuwal, as a defendant in the suit.

It would be recalled that Otedola released an audio tape with a view to proving that the probe panel demanded cash-for-clearance shortly after the Farouk Lawal led panel released its fact-finding report that exposed huge fraud carried out by various companies under the subsidy regime.

Otedola particularly accused Lawal of demanding $3 million bribe to clear his company.

However, Lawal, through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozokhome, SAN, said he did not stuff money in his cap as alleged and he never went to Lagos to collect bribe. He admitted collecting money from Otedola on two separate occasions, at Otedola’s house at Aso Drive Asokoro also in Abuja and at Protea Hotel at Apo Abuja.

Lawal described the tape, which was released as “a devilish caricature,” and urged Nigerians to give him the benefit of doubts, the primary intention why he collected the money was to expose the level of corruption within the oil sector of the Nigerian economy.

In the process, Otedola claimed that Hon Farouk purportedly contacted and informed that his company was going to be indicted for purchasing foreign exchange from Central Bank of Nigeria without importing fuel.

He said regardless of his explanations, Farouk allegedly demanded $3 million bribe to allow Zenon oil get a clean bill of health.

Adding that Farouk resorted to constant phone calls intimidating him that his company would be included in the list of indicted oil importers unless he pays the three million US Dollars.

At this point, he reported the matter to law enforcement agencies, he said.

Otedola told the court that he was advised by the security agents to give Farouk marked money for evidence.

He said he gave Farouk $620, 000 marked bills, yet his company was indicted when the report came out on April 18.

However, he told the court that Farouk, on April 24, moved the House to de-list the name of Zenon oil from the indicted company but persisted that he give the balance of $2,380,000 prompted him to report the confrontation to Police.

Otedola consequently asked the court to award him the N250bn for the grave injuries done to his reputation and business image.

Both the Speaker and Farouk in response filed an objection to hearing of the suit, relating the court action as frolicsome and grossly lacking in merit.

One Comment

  1. Boko Horom

    November 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

    the face of an innocent thief