by Lekan Olanrewaju
The CEO of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited – who is currently caught up in a bribery scandal involving Honorable Farouk Lawan – has shared a few of his thoughts on current developments in the House of Reps and they are, well, interesting. The House of Reps had yesterday suspended the head of the fuel subsidy probe panel and re-listed Chief Femi Otedola’s company among those indicted in the subsidy probe report. Otedola, however, sees this as a waste of time, describing the action as “laughable” and reiterating that he has nothing to hide. He also stated that he had nothing to do with the company Synopsis Enterprises Limited which was listed in the report as well. Read his statement below:
“I have stated the facts in my interview with Thisday newspaper and nothing but the facts. That Farouk Lawan demanded $3 million from me and because I refused to oblige him he included the name of Zenon among those who bought forex without importing petroleum products.
He did this without even asking Zenon to produce a single document of the forex transaction. He clearly wanted to extort money for an offence I did not commit. That is why I went to report to the security agencies.
If I had anything to hide, I wouldn’t have gone to the agencies. There is an old adage that says people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
Moreover, it is not possible to purchase $232, 975,385.13 million from CBN without importing the product. The total figure is not even $232, 975,385.13 million as alleged but $372, 207, 990 million. They should go and amend the report to read $372, 207, 990 million, which is the correct figure.
It is not possible to purchase this volume of forex from the CBN with first class banks such as Access bank, FCMB, GTB, UBA and an international bank, BNP Paribas, which is one of the biggest and most respected banks in the world.
If people at my level who have worked hard to build their businesses can be blackmailed this way all in a bid to extort money from them, I pity people that are just starting out in business in this country.
In all my business dealings, I have always been above board and the records are there to prove. As far as I know, Lawan could not have been working alone in this extortionist plot. A tree does not make a forest. Let me also state for the records that we are not in any way affiliated to the other company, Synopsis enterprises Ltd, also included in the report. Actions of today by the house is laughable; a mere celebration of corruption and a further indictment on their honorable member.”