Multi-billionaire buisnessman, Mr. Femi Otedola, who is a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former member of House of Representatives, Mr. Farouk Lawan, over bribery allegation yesterday said the $500,000 offered to the defendant was from the Department of State Services (DSS).
Otedola disclosed this before Justice Angela Otaluka of the FCT High Court, Apo while being cross examined by Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to 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.
Otedola accused Lawan of demanding $3 million 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 was part payment of the $3 million 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 for 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 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 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 out of $3 million 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.