Vanguard (Lagos)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Subsidy Fraud - ICPC Arraigns Farouk, Emenalo Tomorrow

Photo: Vanguard
Rep. Farouk Lawan accused of receiving bribe from oil marketers

Abuja — The Federal Government has finally succumbed to pressure and entered a 7-count criminal charge against the erstwhile Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawal.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, will tomorrow, dock the embattled lawmaker alongside the former Secretary of the fuel subsidy probe Committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo.

The duo will appear before an Abuja High Court to enter their plea to the charge which accused them of demanding and collecting bribe from the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, oil mogul, Femi Otedola, as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.

The accused lawmakers were said to have committed an offence contrary to section 17 (1) of the Corrupt practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 17 (1) of the same Act.

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi who okayed the accused persons for trial, Thursday, maintained that "Upon a careful consideration of the application and attached documents in support of same filed by the Complainant's Counsel...Leave is hereby granted to the Complainant/Applicant to prefer criminal charge under section 185 (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC)."

Further attached to the charge sheet marked FCT/HC/CR/76/2013, which was signed on behalf of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, by one Mrs. O.O. Fatunde, a Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, were names and addresses of witnesses, proof of evidence as well as a list of exhibits against the lawmakers.

Already the federal government has contracted a private prosecutor who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, to conduct the trial.

Specifically, some of the charge against them read: "That you Hon. Farouk Lawan (M) while being a member of the House of Representatives and chairman of Ad-hoc committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime sometimes in April 2012 or thereabout at Abuja within the Federal Capital Territory under the jurisdiction of this honourable court did while acting in the course of your official duty corruptly obtained the sum of $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) for yourself from Mr. Femi Otedola Chairman Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd as an inducement to remove the name of Zenon petroleum gas ltd from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 17 (1) of the Corrupt practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 17 (1) of the same Act."

"That you Mr. Emenalo Boniface (M) while being a public officer, an Assistant Director and Secretary of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime sometimes in April 2012 or thereabout at Abuja within the Federal capital territory under the jurisdiction of this honourable court did while acting in the course of your official duty as Secretary...corruptly asked for the sum of $3,000,000 (three million US dollars) for yourself from Mr. Femi Otedola, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8 (1) (b) (ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 23 (3) of the same Act."

It will be recalled that a Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo had earlier given the AGF a six days ultimatum to charge the accused persons to court or okay a 4-count criminal charge he personally drafted against them.

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