|Hon. Adams Jagaba|
…Warns Farouk Lawan to stop mentioning his name
ABUJA – Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Adams Jagaba, has threatened to drag the former Chairman of the House Adhoc Committee on Petroleum subsidy management, Hon.Farouk Lawan to court should he continue to mention his name in the $3 million bribery scandal.
Addressing newsmen at the Media Centre of the House yesterday, July 12, 2012 Jagaba alleged that Lawan had admitted that he decided to implicate him (Jagaba) in the scandal in order to strengthen his (Lawan’s) case in court.
Commenting on Lawan’s allegation that he gave him part of the money he allegedly extorted from oil magnate Femi Otedola, Jagaba vehemently denied the claim.
He said: “Hon. Farouk Lawan alleged that he wrote a letter to me attaching $500,000. That is callously untrue and in fact, calculated to smear my hard-earned reputation; a reputation I painstakingly built since 1999. I never received any letter, or money, or any other exhibit from Farouk Lawan.”
He continued: “I saw for the first time the purported letter on a page of the Leadership Newspaper, of 14th June, 2012; and the closest copy which I saw and touched, was the copy he presented to the Police Special Task Force”.
Explaining further on what transpired between him and Lawan at the Police headquarters, yesterday, he said: ”Farouk, in his opening remarks, stated that he reported the matter to me because of my position as the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes and not because I was involved in the bribery saga. He also told the Police that he involved me in the matter because he thinks that, that would enhance his case in Court. We faced each other before the Police STF. I then put the question: “Hon. Farouk, did you give me $500,000 or any money for that matter?” This was a question the out-spoken Farouk could not answer. He kept mum till I left.”
Responding to the letter Lawan claimed to have written to him, he raised several posers.
He siad: “The following were the features of the purported letter: – The copy published by the leadership Newspaper of 14th June, 2012 on page 6, had the following curious features; It was dated 24/4/2012 and had a time of 03:47am on it.”
He queried: “Is it the normal practice to indicate time on an official letter? Is it humanly possible to write a two-paged letter within or in less than one-second?”
He also observed that on the second paragraph of the purported letter, Farouk Lawan stated that “attached is the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only…”
He asked: “Is it practically possible to attach money of that quantity to a sheet of paper?”
He also observed that the purported letter was written on a clean sheet of paper.
His poser: “An official letter written about an issue of this magnitude should have, in my opinion, appeared on the official Letter Headed Paper of the Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Investigation or at least, Hon. Farouk Lawan’s Letter Headed Paper”.
In his concluding remarks about what probably happened to Lawan on the day he wrote the letter he said: “The embattled Hon. Farouk Lawan was rather rattled by the revelation of the bribery scandal, hence, in his confused and highly tensed state, picked up his pen and paper at an un-godly hour of 03:47am, wrote a letter (or so he claimed), as an after-thought, to the effect that he forgot to deliver the letter to the intended recipient, but rather chose to give it to a newspaper reporter and the Police Special Task Force (STF).”
He recalled that Hon. Farouk Lawan initially denied ever demanding and collecting any bribe but later owned up that he actually took the bribe money as an “exhibit.
“Until and unless Hon. Farouk Lawan produces an authentic acknowledged copy of his letter, he should stop dragging my name in the mud. It will be recalled that I displayed the sum of N4,500,000 bribe money on the floor of the House in 2001 when I was the Committee Chairman on Anti-Corruption. I did that as an act of patriotism, an act that truly laid the foundation for the War Against Corruption in Nigeria. I cannot and shall never be involved in an individualistic act that runs antithetical to national interest.”
He warned Lawan “to stop this blackmail forthwith or else, I will have no option than take the appropriate legal action against him and to seek compensation befitting my status. Enough is enough!”