The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has re- arraigned before an Abuja High Court, the chairman of House of Representatives ad hoc committee that probed fuel subsidy scam, Farouk Lawan, for allegedly obtaining $620,000 bribe from Femi Otedola.
Joined in the case is Lawan’s secretary, Boniface Emenalo, both facing a seven-count criminal charge bordering on obtaining $620,000 from an oil magnate, Otedola, in order to doctor the committee’s report in favour of Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd.
Lawan and Emenalo were first arraigned before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi on Febuary 2, 2013, before he was elevated to the Court of Appeal, resulting in the re-assignment of the case to Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
At resumed re-arraignment of both men, Counsel to the ICPC, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), told the court that the case was slated for re-arraignment of the accused.
The ICPC alleged that the accused conspired in April 2012 to demand three million dollars gratification from Otedola to remove his firm, Zenon Oil and Gas Ltd, from the list of oil companies indicted for the fuel subsidy scam.
Awomolo argued that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and punishable under Section 8 (1) of the same Act.
Emenalo, Farouk Lawan’s Secretary, was separately accused in count seven for receiving $120,000 as gratification from Otedola for the same purpose.
The prosecution said the action violates Section 10 (a)(ii) of ICPC Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 10 of the same Act.
The accused persons however pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them by the court.
Counsel to Lawan and Emenalo, Omowale Jolawon, urged the court to allow his clients to continue with the N10 million bail granted to each of them and two sureties each in like sum.
In a short ruling, Banjoko ordered the accused to continue with the bail conditions granted by Justice Oniyangi.
She ordered the accused persons to present their sureties before the court and adjourned the case until July 7 and 8 for accelerated trial.
Part of the bail terms required the accused persons to submit their international passports with the court’s Registrar, and restraint from traveling outside Nigeria without the permission of the court.