Alhaji Farouk Lawan, a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, was on Wednesday re-arraigned before the FCT High Court, Abuja, for allegedly obtaining $620,000 bribe money from Femi Otedola.
Joined in the case is Lawan’s Secretary, Boniface Emenalo.
Both men are facing a seven-count criminal charge bordering on obtaining @620,000 Otedola in order to doctor the committee’s report in favour of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, owned by the oil magnate.
Lawan and Emenalo were first arraigned before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi on February 2, 2013, who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.
The case was subsequently re-assigned to Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
At resumed re-arraignment, counsel to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), told the court that the case was slated for re-arraignment of the accused.
The ICPC alleged that accused conspired in April 2012 to demand $3 million gratification from Otedola to remove his firm from the list of oil companies indicted for scam by the House adhoc committee.
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 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 term required the accused persons to deposit their international passports with the court registrar and restraint from traveling outside Nigeria without the permission of the court.