Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Drugs/Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adams Jagaba, on Thursday threatened to sue Mr. Farouk Lawan for “blackmail” over the raging $620,000 bribery allegation.
The lawmaker from Kaduna State addressed journalists shortly after the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges quizzed him over the bribery allegation.
He said, “I cannot and shall never be involved in an individualistic act that runs antithetical to national interest.
“Lawan should stop this blackmail forthwith or else, I will have no option but to take the appropriate legal action against him and to seek compensation befitting my status.
“Enough is enough.”
Lawan had admitted receiving the bribe money from oil businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola.
He claimed that he planned to expose Otedola, who wanted his firm, Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, de-listed from the list of firms indicted by the fuel subsidy probe report.
Lawan chaired the Ad hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Subsidy Regime, which investigated the fuel subsidy scheme in April.
According to Lawan, after receiving the money, he reported the issue to Jagaba in writing and attached $500,000 to the letter he handed over to him.
However, Jagaba has consistently denied receiving any letter or money from Lawan.
He said because Lawan had been “rattled” and “confused” by the scandal, he wrote a letter at 3.47am but “forgot to deliver the letter to the intended recipient (Jagaba)”.
Jagaba said Lawan “chose to give it to a newspaper reporter and the Police Special Task Force” instead.
On Thursday, he stated that the first time he saw the letter was in a publication by the Leadership of June 14.
Jagaba confirmed that he was a guest of the police for two hours on the said date and gave his “own side of the story on the bribery scandal investigation”.
He also said on July 11 the STF arranged a meeting between him and Lawan between 3pm and 4pm.
He said, “In his opening remarks, (Lawan) 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 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 outspoken Farouk could not answer. He kept mum till I left.”
Jagaba, who praised the STF for treating him “professionally”, also confirmed that he appeared before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges on Thursday.
As already reported exclusively by punchnews, the panel, which is headed by Mr. Gambo Lawan, quizzed Jagaba on the matter.
He admitted telling the panel that “I have no knowledge of such transactions and I am not in custody of any money or any other exhibit given to me by Farouk or any other person.”