9 February 2013

Nigeria: N93 Million Bribe - Lawan, Emenalo Get Bail

An Abuja High Court yesterday granted bail to the former Chairman of House of Representative Ad Hoc Committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk Lawan, and the secretary of the committee, Boniface Emenalo. The two men have been in held in prison for about a week.

They are being prosecuted by the Federal Government for collecting $620, 000 (N93 million) as bribe from business man, Femi Otedola, to remove his company, Zenon Oil, from the list of indicted companies.

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi in his ruling on the bail application by defense counsel, Ricky Tafa (SAN) held that granting bail is a judicial discretion which must be exercised based on facts and circumstances.

He said the prosecution counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) 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 N10 million as bail bonds with two sureties in like sum.

While barring the embattled lawmakers from travelling oversea 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, this year remanded at Kuje Prison after the judge observed that the bail application and authorities cited for and against required careful consideration.

The two had earlier pleaded not guilty to a seven-count charge brought against them by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

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