Lawan, Otedola alleged bribery saga: DSS presents video evidence in court

evidence of Lawan collecting the said bribe from Otedola

The Department of State Services on Tuesday presented a video evidence at the FCT High Court, Lugbe, where businessman, Femi Otedola, was seen giving out a parcel to Hon. Farouq Lawan.
Justice Angela Otaruku granted the request of the prosecuting counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), to play the video as evidence of Lawan collecting the said bribe from Otedola.
The request was made when Awomolo led the DSS prosecutor, David Ojataha, the Principal Officer in-charge of Technical Operations of DSS, in evidence.
The video, revealing an exchange of parcel, lasted for almost three minutes.
Awomolo said: “The video I just played are those of Mr. Femi Otedola and Hon. Farouq Lawan where there was an exchange of parcel at Otedola’s house in Aso drive, Abuja.”
The DSS prosecutor, however, told the court that he was saddled with the responsibility of recording the video by the DSS because of his background as an Electronic and Telecommunication Engineer.
Ojataha told the court that he did his work diligently during the course of investigation as an expert.
He said though he did not participate in the arrest and detention of the defendant as that was not part of his duty, he only recorded the said video.
Ojataha added that he did not also take any statement from the defendant during the course of investigation.
He said he was only instructed to cover the meeting between both parties based on complaints from Otedola.
Mike Ozekhome, the defendant’s counsel, while cross examining the DSS prosecutor, said the device used in playing the CD had no imprint of time and event in the video.
Ozekhome said there was nothing to show that the defendant was there to receive bribe.
He added that there was also nothing in the video to suggest that bribery was discussed because such words like “bribe” was not heard in the video.
NAN reports that Lawan was the former Committee Chairman of Petroleum Matters in the House of Representatives in the 7th National Assembly.
He chaired the committee investigating the subsidy fraud in 2012.
The committee, however, found some oil companies culpable of defrauding the Federal Government via spurious subsidy claim and Zenon Petroleum and Gas Company, belonging to Otedola, was found culpable.
The trial judge, Otaruku, while discharging the DSS prosecutor from the witness box, ordered the prosecution counsel to bring his other witnesses to court on May 10, being the adjourned date of the trial.