by Isi Esene
The State Security Service (SSS) yesterday denied Mr. Farouk Lawan from leaving the country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.
Lawan, who is currently embroiled in a bribery scandal involving the chairman of Zenon Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola, was billed to fly out for the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia with the Emirates Airlines.
According to the Daily Times Newspapers, he was prevented from travelling for fear that he might flee the country to prevent being tried for a $620,000 bribery allegation.
The suspended House of Representative member was accused by Mr. Otedola of demanding a $3,000,000 bribe (of which $620,000 was reportedly paid) to remove his company from the list of those found culpable in the fuel subsidy report.
Hon. Lawan, who was the chairman of the Adhoc committee saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and investigating the fuel subsidy regime, is still being investigated by the country’s security agencies following the release of several incriminating evidences purportedly proving his culpability in the bribery saga.
Lawan has continued to maintain his innocence saying the allegations were contrived to malign his person.
If Lawan was trying to escape as portrayed, we wonder if he has not heard of the formerly busy NADECO route used during the Sani Abacha years.