by Adeniyi Abdul
Chairman of the House of Reps Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Mr. Adams Jagaba has denied allegations of being involved in the current bribery scandal involving oil magnate Femi Otedola and Hon. Farouk Lawan. Jagaba yesterday threatened legal action against Lawan for attempting to implicate him in the ordeal by stating that he had given him $500,000 as part of the money he received from Otedola.
Lawan had alleged that he sent the money with a letter he wrote to Jagaba, an accusation the latter described during a press briefing as “callously untrue” and “calculated”.
“That is callously untrue and, in fact, calculated to smear my hard-earned reputation, a reputation I painstakingly built since 1999,” Jagaba said. “I never received any letter, or money, or any other exhibit from Farouk Lawan.
“I saw for the first time the purported letter on a page of the Leadership Newspaper, page 6 of June 14, 2012; and the closest copy which I saw and touched, was the copy he presented to the Police Special Task Force investigating the bribery scandal, when I went there on July 10.”
“I was invited by the Police STF while in South Africa attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Summit.” he continued. “When I returned to Nigeria, I went to the Police Force Headquarters on July 10 at about 11:00 am to give my own side of the story on the bribery scandal investigation and I spent precisely two hours with them.”
“On the 11th July, 2012, the Police STF graciously arranged for a meeting between Hon. Farouk Lawan and myself between the hours of 3 and 4p.m. Farouk, in his opening remarks, 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 would enhance his case in court.” he continued. “We faced each other before the Police 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.”