You could write a million fictional stories about corruption in Nigeria and none of them would come close to being as absurd as reality.
The unedited events of the last week’s Farouk Lawan case as they stand are this:
Day 0, Femi Otedola, the CEO of Zenon oil brought forward a video of himself giving a bribe of $620,000 in marked bills to Farouk Lawan, the head of the House of Reps probe on the fuel subsidy.
On Day 1, Farouk woke up, stretched out on his satin sheets with gold trim and brushed his teeth while his robot butler read him the news. Understandably, he almost choked to death when he heard the news about the video. He did the first thing he could think of, he called the newspapers and issued a statement saying that the video was doctored and the person in it was not him.
By Day 2, he was calmer. He realised that not many people would believe his photoshop story. You need a low tech lie here. So he called the media again, wrung his hands, smiled a lot, shared a few forced jokes, and then told them, “I took the bribe, but what you see in that video is not him setting me up, but me setting him up. The police and my colleagues were in on it. We just haven’t followed up on the set-up for two months because we’ve been very busy.”
At this, the police and his colleagues promptly said, “No o, we don’t know anything about it.”
Day 3, Farouk conferred his friends and they said, “Why didn’t you call us earlier, we could have given you a better lie than those first two.”
They put their heads together and this is what they came up with: Farouk did take some money from Femi Otedola but the money was not a bribe. It was money that was given Farouk to prevent him from being tempted by bribes. A bribe-deterrent bribe.
After saying this, Farouk looked at the stunned expressions on the faces of the reporters and said, “This is my final story and I’m sticking to it.”
This is like a man saying his wife received a sex tape of him and his mistress. So his friends tell him, “Say it isn’t you on the tape.”
“No wait, say it was you, but you only did it to prove to the other woman’s husband that she was unfaithful.”
“Or try this one, say it was you, but you only did it to stop you from sleeping with even more women.”
I am more disappointed in the excuses than I am in the actual crime. It shows a man with an inability to think on his feet.
The other House of Rep members aren’t suggesting he shouldn’t have done it, they are more focused on the fact that Lawan went to Otedola’s house to pick up the money, har-har amateur mistake. Like that man’s friends are saying, “Not that you shouldn’t cheat on your wife, but if you do it in someone’s else’s house, don’t you know they can tape you?”