by Lekan Olanrewaju
Take cover folks; it’s one hell of a war of words and you definitely don’t want to be caught in the crossfire.
Yesterday CEO of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited Chief Femi Otedola (who is still making headlines for his alleged involvement in a bribery scandal with Honourable Farouk Lawan) rubbished the decision of the House of Reps to place his company back on the list of those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe, describing the action as “laughable” and stating that the House was simply indulging in a “celebration of corruption”.
Well the House clearly didn’t take too kindly to those jabs as it has now responded to his claims of innocence, describing Otedola as a “sinking man”.
“As an institution, we won’t join words with Mr. Femi Otedola,” said chairman of the House committee on media, Zakari Mohammed. “His case is that of a sinking man. As far as we are concerned in this country, for every personality that claims to be straightforward, we know his or her background, antecedents, way of life and means of doing business.”
“On his allegation that Mr. Farouk Lawan could not have acted alone, the House of Representatives is asking Otedola to name others. He who alleges must prove beyond reasonable doubt,” he continued. “We have made ourselves available as open as possible with what we did on Friday.”
“To say that we are celebrating corruption is mischievous and unfair. I think any patriotic and conscientious Nigerian should appreciate that what we did was a show of transparency and allowing the rule of law.
“We support anti-corruption campaign; we will not waiver in our commitment to this. We cannot be the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge at the same time. We decided to allow the law to take its course.”
He also emphasized that there no personal issues against Otedola had any effect on the proceedings, saying: “Certainly, there is no question of witch-hunt at all. As an institution, we are above partisanship.”
“Since the removal of Zenon Oil and Gas from the list of those having issues to answer became questionable, we felt there is need for a thorough investigation into the matter.” he said.
“The Ad Hoc Committee is re-examining allegations against those 17 companies who allegedly obtained foreign exchange without importing products. Otedola should go back to the committee instead of rushing to the press.”