8 February 2013

Nigeria: U.S.$620, 000 Bribe - Lawan, Emenalo Get Bail

An Abuja High Court has granted bail to ex-chairman House Committee on fuel subsidy scam Rep. Farouk Lawan and the secretary Boniface Emenalo who were charged with demanding $620, 000 bribe.

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi in his ruling on the bail application by defence counsel Ricky Tafa (SAN) held that the grant of bail is a judicial discretion which must be exercised based on facts. He added that the prosecution did not controvert the facts of the affidavit in support of the application that the accused persons will not undermine the trial.

He consequently ordered Lawan and Emenalo to deposit the sum of N10 million as bail bonds with two sureties in like sum.

While barring the embattled lawmakers from travelling out of the country without the court's permission, he further ordered them to deposit their international passports with the court's registrar.

The accused persons were on Friday February 1 remanded to Kuje Prison after the judge observed that the bail application and authorities cited required careful consideration.

Lawan and Emenalo's travails commenced following allegation by businessman Femi Otedola that they demanded for a bribe of $3 million dollar to de-list his company Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd from firms indicted in the subsidy scam.

Otedola further claims that he paid the sum of $620, 000 in two instalments to both men through a sting operation with the State Security Service (SSS).

The case has been adjourned to April 10 and 17 for commencement of trial.

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