The trial of former Rep. Farouk Lawan resumed in Abuja on Monday with Mr Femi Otedola, testifying that the $500,000 offered to the accused was from Department of State Service (DSS).
Business magnate Otedola appeared before Justice Angela Otaluka of the FCT High Court, Apo as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Lawan.
He said the money was given to him by the DSS to set a trap for Lawan after he wrote a petition against him.
He accused Lawan of demanding 3 million dollars as bribe from him to exonerate his oil company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the alleged subsidy scam in 2012.
He further told the court that the 500,000 dollars were a part payment of the 3 million dollars being demanded by Lawan, which was eventually given to him under the supervision of the DSS.
Otedola said he petitioned the DSS immediately Lawan demanded the bribe.
“Lawan said he was going to exonerate my company after giving him the money, security cameras were mounted in my living room to capture the exchange of money between me and the defendant.
“The video is with the DSS, the money was given to him in two tranches $250,000 each,” he said.
When reminded by Chief Ozekhome, that the best time “to catch a thief is when the operation is ongoing,” Otedola said he did not know why DSS failed to arrest Lawan at that moment.
The Judge, however, adjourned the matter till March 8 for the continuation of cross-examination of the prosecution witness.
Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting 500,000 dollars out of 3 million dollars bribe.
The money was said to have been requested to remove Otedola’s company’s name from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy in 2012.
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