The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola yesterday told an FCT High Court in Apo that the $620,000 he handed over to former lawmaker, Farouk Lawan was given to him by the Department of State Security (DSS).
Otedola stated this while being cross-examined by Lawan’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN). He said the alleged bribe money was given to Lawan in a sting operation.
He said the DSS, however, did not catch Lawan red-handed at the time of collecting the money from him (Otedola), as shown in a video played in the open court.
He also told the court that he did not have any documentary evidence to the fact that the money was given to him by the DSS, saying that the money was given to him in bits.
He further stated that he did not take down the serial numbers of the money given to him by the DSS, adding that he did not sign any document when collecting the money in bits.
Asked if the content of the envelope exchanging hands in the video could have been a letter or an invitation card, Otedola, who testified as to the fifth prosecution witness, said, “Possibly, the content could have been a letter or an invitation card.”
The witness further told the court that going by the video shown in the court, Lawan did not remove his cap and stuff it with dollars.
Otedola said Lawan, a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, demanded a bribe of $3million out of which he handed over the sum of $620,000 to him.
He told the court that he knew one Phillip Akinola, who he said was the Chief Operating Officer of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, but he was not aware that Akinola wrote a letter to Lawan, informing him that Zenon supplied petroleum to Forte Oil on carefully agreed terms.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka has adjourned the proceedings to September 24 for the adoption of addresses by parties in the no-case submission.
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