CLO says he should not be allowed to dictate to the lawmakers

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), on Thursday, condemned multi-billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, for dictating to lawmakers in the ongoing investigation into a bribery scandal involving him.

Addressing journalists in Lagos, the group’s chairman, Ehi Omokhuale, said Otedola was in no position to dictate to the House of Representatives? Ethics and Privileges Committee looking into the matter that he wanted a public hearing.

The committee is probing Otedola’s allegations that he gave $620,000 bribe as initial payment to a respected member of the House and former chairman of the House Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawan.

Otedola, an oil magnate, claimed that the bribe was to exonerate him and his companies in the investigations into the oil subsidy scam involving oil importers.

Omokhuale however said that “the Nigerian House of Representatives is an institution that must be respected.”

“We are not against Otedola?s wishes to be heard in public, but he should not be allowed to dictate to the house,” he said, noting that the decision to hear Otedola in public should be at the discretion of the lawmakers, rather than on the dictate of one man.

On the other hand, Omokhuale blamed the lawmakers and anti-graft agencies for the slow pace of the investigations, saying the matter should be taken more seriously.

“A matter of this nature should be swiftly handled. The exchange of words, demands and revelations of so-called audio tapes by the media is becoming ridiculous,” he said.

“The whole scenario is turning into a comedy and is further affecting the nation?s image negatively.”

Omokhuale also called for the immediate suspension of Otedola as a member of the nation?s economic team, pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.

“No man is above the law and we must not be seen as placing one man above the law,?? he said, urging the government’s executive arm to intervene in the matter.

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