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Published On: Tue, Jul 8th, 2014

$620, 000 alleged bribe: Lawan, Emenalo’s application stalls hearing

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Farouk Lawan & Mr Boniface EmenaloHearing in the criminal trial involving Farouk Lawan, the former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime and its ex-Secretary, Boniface Emenalo before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the FCT High court was yesterday stalled following a fresh application by the accused persons for a stay of proceeding.

The accused, who were re-arraigned last month before the judge on seven counts charge for allegedly receiving $620, 000 bribe from the Chairman,  Zenon Oil and Gas, Femi Otedola had pleaded not guilty.

When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, counsel to the accused persons, Akinyemi Aremu informed the court that he had filed a motion for stay of the proceedings of the trial court pending the outcome of the appeal he filed at the apex court.

Aremu asked the court for an adjournment, to enable the appellate court hear his application for stay of proceedings of trial court.  He said he has lodged an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Court of Appeal that his clients should face trial.

Counsel to the ICPC, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who although did not oppose the request for adjournment, told the court that he was disappointed because the application which was filed on Friday was meant to frustrate the speedy hearing of the matter.

Awomolo, however, asked the court for short adjournment as, according him; judicial policy provides that criminal matters be given expeditious hearing.

In her ruling, Justice Banjoko adjourned till October 28, 2014 for report on the outcome of the application for stay of proceedings at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal and/or definite hearing of the criminal charge instituted against Farouk Lawan and his co-accused, Boniface Emenalo.

They were re-arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on receipt of bribe and abuse of office last month, before Justice Banjoko, after their matter was transferred from Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi’s court, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench.

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