By KINGSLEY OMONOBI, Abuja
…Submits Interim Report to IGP
•Lawan to remain with Police until the $620,000 is returned
Detectives from the Special Task Force, STF, investigating the $3illion bribe scandal against former House of Representatives Subsidy Probe panel Chairman, Lawan Farouk yesterday conducted a one-hour search at his Apo residence.
Also, searched was the house of the Secretary of the Committee, Hon. Boniface Emenalo, who was alleged to have collected $120,000 as part of the bribe money.
Both principal officers were Thursday detained in the cells of the Police Force Criminal Investigations Department, FCID, located in Garki, Area 10 Abuja until at exactly 1.25 pm yesterday, when reporters saw Hon. Lawan disembarking from a Black Murano Jeep inside Force Headquarters, accompanied by a white Police Hilux Jeep.
Lawan who was putting on a white caftan was alleged to be returning with the detectives who had gone to search his residence in Apo Legislative Quarters at about 12 noon.
However, when reporters sought to know if Lawan would be granted bail yesterday, a source within the Special Task Force hinted that investigation was still on going adding, “I cannot say whether or not he would be granted bail as we are still chatting with him. So it will be premature to say whether we can release him on bail for now”.
The source said that the scope of investigation has been expanded as a result of new discoveries about other bribes, adding, “We are now talking about huge sums of money given to the probe committee and some of the oil marketers that were extorted have gone to the court to depose to affidavits to reveal everything”.
It was learnt that Farouk told the police that when he discovered that the whole plot was a set up, he collected the money and handed it over to the Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes and assured the STF that he would return the money intact to the police, but the CP, Ali Amodu- led STF is not buying the argument even as the House Committee Chairman on Financial Crimes would be invited to come with the marked money allegedly given to Farouk, to buttress his statement.
Meanwhile, news gathered late yesterday that an interim report on the bribery scandal has been submitted to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar while investigation continued.
Police sources however, disclosed that Farouk may not be released until he produces the $620,000 to the police. As at press time yesterday, Farouk was still being grilled by detectives of the STF.
About $10,000 was found in his residence When contacted on whether Farouk will be granted bail ‘yesterday’, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mbah, said that it was premature to talk about bail now as detectives still have a large scope of areas to cover.