The Otedollar Show By Charles Ofoji

By Charles Ofoji

Let me first register my indignation over the carnage on the Plateau which claimed over 100 lives, including 2 legislators. Actually, it is only in a comic country that such number of people will be slaughtered and those in power still carry on with governance as if nothing happened. The butchery in Plateau is another pointer to the fact that law and order has broken down in Nigeria, whether we like it or not. Life now means nothing in our country if a serving senator could so easily be killed.

In a nation, properly so-called, the president would have quickly addressed the nation and declared days of national mourning. President Jonathan, as usual, ordered the security agencies to fish out Senator Dantong killers as if the others who died are lesser mortals. Nobody is expecting the killers to be found anyway. I fail to understand how officers would be milling around as state security operatives and would not be able to get a clue as to those behind the cycle of reprisal attacks in Plateau. If our military can’t stop a rampaging ragtag Fulani herdsmen from wiping out a village (ethnic cleansing), then of what use is the armed forces and all the billions of Naira spent in maintaining them.

In serious climes, if it means that all the Service Chiefs would relocate to Jos to ensure security of lives and property, it would be done. What are they even doing in Abuja?

In any case, the Lawan-Otedollar show took a humiliating dimension for the House committee on ethics and privileges last week Tuesday when oil Baron, Femi Otedola made a nonsense of its investigation in the Faroukgate as he refused to testify.  A cool Otedola, who obviously was enjoying the show provided by the briber saga, “arrogantly” told the members of the committee that he was not going to testify in camera, but in public. All further entreaties made to the oil magnate at the centre of the corruption allegation against Lawan to change his stance was coolly and steely rebuffed. Thereupon, the committee Chairman, Gambo Dan-Musa descended on the arena and poured vituperations on the person of Otedola. He even called him a fool and an imbecile. This was an interesting piece in the ongoing Lawan-Otedollar opus.

As I said in an article last month, Farouk or Lawangate will surely go the way of other major scandals in the history of Nigerian democracy. I, like majority of Nigerians, do not seriously expect any result. However, beyond the conundrum of the Lawan-Otedollar soap opera lies the sadness that, after all, due to lawanic greed, the oil thieves, who stole over $6.8billion US dollars and made Nigerians to forfeit enjoyment of oil subsidy as citizens of a major oil producing nation, will ultimately go unpunished - never mind the ranting in some official quarters.

Sometimes, the intellect and judgment of those who are in charge of governance in this country amaze me. But then again, you remember that those in government were godfathered into positions.  How could sane people think that they could rely on a report when the chairman of the house committee, who presided over the investigation and emergence of that report, is persuasively accused of having compromised the contents of the same report? Right thinking Nigerians expect the House to order a new investigation, instead of holding on to a report that is already dead when Lawan got messed up with a credible bribery allegation.  

Nevertheless, I was bemused over the emotional reactions of Dan-Musa. He took the thing personal. I had expected a sentimental detachment from the work he has on his hands, which is to investigate a fellow colleague who is accused of vice. His outbursts are unbecoming of a man of his status and it is also disproportional. Like Otedola or hate him, he only demanded the enforcement of his right to testify only in public. He never said that he will not testify. And if Dan-Musa cares to know, Otedola’s fundamental human rights, entrenched in the constitution, override whatever investigative powers his embarrassed committee has. Yes, they embarrassed themselves. Before he could have subjected Lawan and Otedola to a hearing in camera, it would have been wise if he first sought and got their consent to such a hearing.  

Nigeria is certainly a joke of a country. Why should the EFCC and police even wait for the House to investigate first the oil subsidy scam and the bribery scandal before it swooped into action? In USA for instance, when such crimes are committed, the FBI pounces on the culprits immediately, irrespective of what congress wants to do. The EFCC and police have enough powers to instigate these scandals and prosecute if need be.

I have also heard nonsensical talks that the police lack evidence to prosecute Lawan. Yes, it could have been easier if the security personnel, who witnessed the handing over of the dollars to Lawan, arrested him in the art. However, it might interest those propagating this view to know that you do not only secure a conviction with direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence suffices, if it irresistibly points to only one direction or conclusion.

Is it not a shaggy dog story that, in spite of the fact that Otedola has admitted he gave bribe and Lawan came clean that he took the money (not minding his cock and bull story as to why he took the money), the police can not compel him to surrender the money? I expect that Otedola will be arrested. At least, he confessed that he gave bribe. That he videoed the giving and invited some of his friends in the SSS to witness the act does not put official legitimacy to his action. Why did his friends in the SSS fail to arrest the culprit, if their assignment were official? Besides, the right authority to inform and work with for such operation is the police and not the SSS.

One does not need to consult an Ouija to know that both Lawan and Otedola are not telling the truth. Both criminally conspired to give and take bribe. And my senses tell me that Otedola rushed to the press when there was a break down somewhere. This can not be hard for the police to decode and send both men to where they deserve to be at the moment.

What is actually going on in this country? How could someone who committed a crime be again given the stage to make a show out of it? Is it because the president has publicly acknowledged that Otedola is his friend? – Even when he should actually have distanced himself from such a man under scrutiny.

The ongoing Otedollar soap opera is depraved mockery of the Nigerian state and an insult to the citizens who are eagerly waiting for the high and mighty to be subjected to the same law as the common criminal who steals N2000 and languishes in one state facility.

I expect the Inspector General of Police to do his job and spare us this offensive soap. I, like majority of Nigerians, demand that he puts Otedola is cuffs now to reassure us that we are not living in a banana republic.

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@Nagodi or Ibrahim Saad - Quit the trivialities!

It isn't for you to plan or tell a person or organisation that planned a setup, the scope or how they should go about it. If it was the plan of the SSS to mark the notes and not catch Farouk in the act of the 'taking', then that was their plan. They probably knew Farouk would have schemed some LIES, and may not have gone ahead to DE-LIST Otedola's company (thus destroying the MOTIVE). Leave them to plan the 'sting' operation however way they wished. Or, if it will make you happy, remove the word 'sting' out of the operation!

But why do you always dwell on trivialities? Farouk is not denying 'taking' money from Otedola. Why? The MOTIVE for the 'taking' was acted out when Farouk openly REMOVED Otedola's company from the list, and gave him a clean bill of health, which, perhaps, he shouldn't have done. Nagodi, those are the REAL ISSUES, and not the trivialities you tend to bathe in! Whether marked or not, he has not been able to return the money he admitted collecting!

Odetola is innocent in this saga

If you are familiar with criminal investigation procedures that are used worldwide especially in Europe and North America, you will understand why Odetola should not be prosecuted. This is a staged operation and entrapment tactics. Police agencies frequently use it to fish out criminals and bribe inducers. You do not prosecute the bait (Odetola).

@Total Rubbish

Yours is the most sensible analysis I hace ever read on this subject. Meanwhile we are Watching the dishonourables, their kangaroo committees and even the presidency and Praying for a Nigerian Jerry Rawlings to make governance undesirable

Forget about the childish

Forget about the childish question being asked by (Sapele water) and (kool). They are the same people here to defend boniface. Have you ever seen them make any sensible comment since Farouk? Would Otedola have told the entire world that he reported the mater concerning the issue of bribe to the SSS without doing so? Have the SSS denied they did not give Otedola the money? What about Boniface? Has he denied not collecting the balance from Otedola? The missing money is just being used to hire criminals to write rubbish for us. Already the man he claimed to have given the money has been granted bail-by the police. This is a clear case of bribery. But Bakare and his fake CIA sponosred SNG wants 9jas to hold otedola responsible for the oil scam-and who are the people involved in the oil scam? Are they not his tribes men? The issue of one 9ja is rubbish. It has no meaning. Let evey zone fend for itself. We cannot have one law for Farouk and another for ibori in the niger delta

LETS STAY IN THE MIDDLE AND LOOK AT THE WHOLE STORY.

EVERY ONE KNOWS THAT OTEDOLA GAVE FAROUK BRIBE WHICH HE ACCEPTS AND PULL HIS COMPANIE'S NAME OUT OF THOSE INDICTED. WHAT IS IN DOUBT IS WHO FIRST START THE BRIBE. WAS FAROUK OFFERED OR DID FAROUK ASK FOR A BRIBE? SECONDLY WAS OTEDOLA WORKING IN TANDEM WITH THE SSS, OR WAS IT A PERSONAL BLACKMAIL TAPE? OTEDOLA AND THE SSS (IF THEY PLAY BY OTEDOLA'S THESES) ARE IN A LOT OF TROUBLE WITH THE LAW. HE WENT TO THE SSS INSTEAD OF THE POLICE, THEY SET UP CAMERAS, PRODUCE MARKED CURRENCY IN THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF NAIRA FROM GOVT COFFERS, AND THEN LET THE SUSPECT WALK AWAY WITH THE MONEY. WE WILL NOT GET TO STAGE TWO (HOW THEY LET A SUSPECT WALK AWAY WITH GOVT MONEY) THE JUDGE WILL THROW AWAY THE CASE BECAUSE THE SSS PARTICIPATED IN AN ILLEGAL OPERATION OUTSIDE THEIR JURISDICTION AND CONFIRMED BY THE UNPROFESSIONAL WAY THEY HANDLE IT.

IF I MAY ASK HOW WERE THEY ABLE TO BALANCE THEIR ACCOUNTS WITH SUCH A HUGE MONEY IN THE HANDS OF FAROUK? ARE THEY PLANNING TO GET THE MONEY BACK AT ALL?

RE: Total rubbish

"... The man said he was not happy to be blackmailed into paying bribe for something he has not done. Subsidies are for PMS and not diesel. So why would Zenon's name be on the list when it doesn't sell PMS?. "

MR ADE, I DONT BELIEVE OTEDOLA IS A FOOL. HE IS A RESPECTED INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSMAN WITH A TEAM OF THE MOST QUALIFIED LAWYERS. IF HIS COMPANY WAS LISTED UNFAIRLY, HE WILL CALL HIS LAWYERS, MAP OUT A PLAN, CALL HIS BABALAWOS, AND PAY THEM TO MAKE FAROUK BLIND AND DEAF UNTIL HIS COMMITTEE SUBMITTED THEIR REPORT. IT IS THEN OTEDOLA WILL POUNCE ON THE COMMITTEE WITH A LAW SUIT FOR DEFAMATION AND PHYSICAL AS WELL AS REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE FOR FAROUK'S LISTING OF A DIESEL IMPORTING COMPANY IN A PMS SCAM. YOU ARE NOT OF THE OPINION THAT OTEDOLA WILL MISS SUCH A MONEY MAKING OPPORTUNITY, ARE YOU?

TO STOP YOU FROM THINKING ALONG THIS LINE, KNOW THAT IT ON THE RECORD THAT ZENON ACCEPTED BILLIONS OF NAIRA FOR PMS ( NOT DIESEL).

RE: PART ONE Poor commentary made

"... If Otedola was pressurized to give bribe and then go ahead to give marked money with the intention to snare the extortionist Otedola is most likely not culpable. Whereas, not arresting Lawan at the point of bribe taking is good police work - imagine the tales he would spin: downpayment for a property; investment fund; donation for his charity of choice....etc if were there and then apprehended."

MR SMART LAWYER HOW DO YOU KNOW OTEDOLA GAVE MARKED MONEY? WAS THE MONEY RECOVERED? EVEN IF FAROUK RETURNED THE MONEY HOW DO WE ESTABLISH IT WAS MARKED? THE SOLE PURPOSE OF MARKING ANY MONEY IN A STING OPERATION IS TO ARREST THE SUSPECT WHILE HE IS IN POSSESSION OF THE MARKED MONEY!

YOU SEEMED NOT TO HEAR ALL THE TALES FAROUK IS SPINNING NOW, TALES HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TELL IF HE WAS ARRESTED ON THE SPOT WITH A VIDEO AND AUDIO TAPE TO BACK THE ARREST. IF THE SSS DARED TO GO TO COURT ON THIS THEY WILL BE IN DEEPER TROUBLE THAN FAROUK AND OTEDOLA.

@Sapele Water

What you just wrote is bad belle.  You may have known this guy when you are both poor and now he is above you and you are telling us about missing wrist watches and nonsence.  Was there any indictment of a crime that you can tell us about.  Pray to God to raise your hand up.  Too bad, God does not raise the hand of gossipers.

Dan Musa Arrogance

Dan Musa is displaying the arrogance that our northern brothers are known for.  Why would they want to investigate such a national issue in camera? Why would he chastice and talk to the guy like he is a school boy?  What a show of power.   It just shows the plan to coverup the issue.  My fear for the Otedola guy is that the northerners are going to mark him and his business for destruction once they get back to the driver seat at Aso rock.  At the end of the day, Lawan will walk free. 

I disagree with your characterization of Otedola as a criminal.  He called in the secutity forces to report a crime.  How does that put in the same league with Lawan?

Corruption in SSS also needs to be investigated

“he videoed the giving and invited some of his friends in the SSS to witness the act does not put official legitimacy to his action. Why did his friends in the SSS fail to arrest the culprit, if their assignment were official? Besides, the right authority to inform and work with for such operation is the police and not the SSS.”

Exactly my point, that there is deep corruption at the SSS. The SSS was not performing an official assignment, for if they were, they should have had the power to arrest Lawan on the spot. But we are told that they,the SSS, gave Otedollar all $3M marked money for the bribe, which in itself calls for investigation. And prior to the videotaping, Otedollar had recorded audio conversation roping Lawan to negotiated bribe amount. The big question then is why the SSS has been mute about its involvement in the operation, and at whose directive. The whole saga smacks of over-the-scale corruption.

otedollar

1. why did the house fail to order new probe, because those that gave bribe already will shout double jeopardy and it may still come to that.
2. when there exist the possibility of others like Lawan in the crime,the investigator let loose so as to get to root of the crime,because there exist the possibility that he is not alone.
3. so far Otedola has not done anything wrong, it is Lawan, who is trusted and paid with tax payer money that should be our concern;if in the process of checking Lawan, otedola is found guilty of any infraction then let the law take it course, but Lawan is the one that betray the tax payer here.
4. The house need education as to who they are;elected to represent people including Odetola, paid salary and allowances from the taxes of people including Otedola;at every opportunity they threaten to arrest and do this and that bullying people that elect and pay them ,and we call this democracy.God help Nigeria.

VERY GOOD AND FAIR ANALYSIS

YOU SEEMED TO UNDERSTAND, WITHOUT BIAS, WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN FAROUK AND OTEDOLA. BUT I THINK WE STILL NEED EVIDENCE TO NAIL FAROUK. OTEDOLA IS THE ONLY SUSPECT THAT HAS BEEN CONSISTENT THROUGH OUT THE SAGA. "I GAVE FAROUK BRIBE AND HERE ARE THE TAPES" AND FAROUK DENIED HE WAS GIVEN A BRIBE AND LATER ACCEPTED THAT HE TOOK MONEY BUT ITS NOT A BRIBE. FOR OTEDOLA ITS AN OPEN AND SHUT CASE SINCE NOBODY WILL BELIEVE HIS COCK AND BULL STORY THAT THE SSS WERE INVOLVED. FOR FAROUK, THE MOUNTAIN OF RECORDED EVIDENCE WILL BE THROWN AWAY IF THERE IS A DISPUTE ON HOW MUCH HE WAS GIVEN ALONE. BEING A LIAR THAT HE IS HE MIGHT DENY ACCEPTING ANY MONEY AGAIN. REMEMBER THAT TAPES ARE AN AUTHENTIC WAY TO DETERMINE A TRANSACTION HAS TAKEN PLACE. BUT TAPES DON'T TELL YOU THE QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF THE MONEY. FAROUK CAN CLAIM THAT OTEDOLA STUFFED HIS CAP WITH MONOPOLY MONEY IN A STING DRAMA FOR FUN. EVEN THE CORRUPT NIGERIAN COURTS AND POLICE KNOW THAT EVIDENCE IS CRUCIAL IN THIS CASE.

My town man also follow

My town man also follow Farouk chop so why I no go back Farouk for this one. That is what the entire article is about. Town meeting.

@SAPELE WATER YR second name is lucifer

That Lucifer is your second name is no longer in doubt with the rubbish you posted. Obama took drugs during his university days. Yet became the president of America! JF Kennedy was caught cheating during exams in his law school. He rose to become one of the most celebrated leaders in the world-Otedola is supposed to be beatified for Sainthood. 9jas can now understand why inpsite of all Gani sacrificed 4 d nation, he was not able to win elections! What we are left with in a nation of 150m ppl is a Gen Buhari! With dead brains like yours, how would 9ja move forward-she will continue to depend on the oil revenue from the SS to settle salaries of civil servants for another 50yrs-Lawan your thieving Fulani mentor had claimed that he handed over the bribe money to Jagaba to forward to the House. Claimed HE reported the bribery to Jagaba through a letter he wrote to him in April.But Jagaba vehemently denied ever receiving any letter or the bribe exhibit from Lawan. So, where is the $620,000?

Banana?

I don't know who coined the term 'banana republic.' If such a person was confronted with Nigeria's current situation, maybe 'akamu republic' would have been more fitting. In all honesty, do you really expect the IG to be of any real use? Even if he could, he wouldn't

@Charles ... brilliant piece except for your conclusion

This is probably the most objective of all the articles written so far on S/R on the Farouk/Lawan saga except for the concluding statement that demanded only Otedola to be put in cuffs. How about Farouk? I repeat that both of them are crooks who are trying to outsmart each other.

Nevertheless, Charles Ofoji captured my position very well on two issues and I quote "One does not need to consult an Ouija to know that both Lawan and Otedola are not telling the truth. Both criminally conspired to give and take bribe". It is only a fraudulent person that will excuse one for the other as Deri & co have consistently done.

The second quote "Circumstantial evidence suffices, if it irresistibly points to only one direction or conclusion". That you did put a proviso on circumstantial evidence makes the difference between you and Osi Okponobi that has tried to hoodwink us with his long insincere legal treatise. Unfortunately, evidence on Farouk points to many directions.

WHO IS THIIS FAROUK &BONIFACE BABOON & doggy dog

What happened was that they (police) followed the procedure to serve the speaker (invitation letter) and since the speaker has seen it, it means that I have seen it.”It will be recalled that Lawan had claimed that he handed over the bribe money to Jagaba to forward to the leadership of the House. He also claimed to have reported the bribery to Jagaba through a letter he wrote to him in April.But Jagaba vehemently denied ever receiving any letter or the bribe exhibit from Lawan. It is still unclear where the $620,000
@charles-When people are driving right--U are moving us to the left-is this meant for Farouk or Boniface? See the way the unthinking thinkers think in 9ja? They call us fools! These elites will be here to claim corruption is the biggest probelm in 9ja. Yet when the thieves are caught-they are split into camps-zones-and regions-by them-Farouk camp A Fulani-Boniface SE region-Otedola camp MAU in portugal! Animals

Otedola is and will always be a thief.

As a young man growing in Lagos Femi Otedola was a known thief, wrist watchs, sun glasses go missing at friends homes in Surulere and common story told in close circles. A secret known only to a few who are now to chicken to talk or are under is pay.

Any other Nigerian but not Femi Otedola

Total rubbish

This writer made some good points, but to finish it by asking Otedola to be put in cuffs is total rubbish. What has he done? The man said he was not happy to be blackmailed into paying bribe for something he has not done. Subsidies are for PMS and not diesel. So why would Zenon's name be on the list when it doesn't sell PMS?. Therefore he rightly set up a sting for the dishonorable Facrook. This is the same Farouk who led the Integrity Gruop that hound Patricia Eteh until she left as a Speaker because she was going to refurbish the Speaker's for 238 million. Bankole renovated the same house for 400million and sold it to himself at the end. Where was the same Integrity Group? We shall all reap what we sow.

wasted my time reading the

wasted my time reading the rubbish penned in defence of Boniface and farouk

PART TWO Now, Lawan did not

PART TWO
Now, Lawan did not only take the money, less than 24hours after he took the money he was on live telecast on the floor of the house (as can be seen on the available you tube clip) exonerating Otedola's company(ies) giving some recent documentation that has become available to him as his motivation. Even the presiding officer of the house on the fateful day expressed some incredulity at his presentation and made Lawan repeat himself. These purported documents (620, 000 of them) that he is yet to produce makes him guilty to high heavens, even if the various responsible arms of the law will not act because the presidency won't prompt them.
All this is not to say Otedola is a saint. Catch him if you can for any other transgression, in this case personally i think he did well.

PART ONE Poor commentary made

PART ONE

Poor commentary made poorer by the writer's knowledge of the law.
If Otedola was pressurized to give bribe and then go ahead to give marked money with the intention to snare the extortionist Otedola is most likely not culpable. Whereas, not arresting Lawan at the point of bribe taking is good police work - imagine the tales he would spin: downpayment for a property; investment fund; donation for his charity of choice....etc if were there and then apprehended. ...../PART TWO

Otodallar: Such a cool name

Sometime people forgot Otodola (Otodollar) has a mission.By the way i kind of love that name "Oto-dollar" If the SSS arrest Lawan, who 'll remove Otodollar company names from the Lawan subsidy probe list?
I guess Lawal promised Otodollar that if he give's the money, his company name 'll be removed. That's what Lawan did on the floor of the Natinal Assembly. Checkout the vedio on Chennel news or Youtube.
What Nation? What a Country? What a people? Naija na wow!!!