Thursday, October 24, 2013

$3m Bribery Scam: Court Will Not Stop Farouk, Emenalo’s trial

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama, yesterday, declined to halt further hearing regarding the criminal charge against the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawal, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC.
By order of the judge both Farouk and the former secretary of the probe committee  are to appear before court on November 27.

The duo sought for the stay of proceeding on their trial until the Abuja Division of the Appeal Court, considers the appeal they have lodged before it which is challenging jurisdiction of the court to try them.
Farouk and Emenalo were accused of demanding and taking bribe from the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, Otedola. For the collected money they were to remove the name of Otedola's company from the report of the House of Reps Ad-hoc committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.
According to claims, they demanded an aggregate sum of $3 million, allowing the company to escape prosecution, although the probe committee had ab-initio found it culpable in fuel subsidy fraud.
Farouk was said to have pocketed the total amount of $620,000 as part payment for the illegal deal.
The anti-graft agency further alleged that Emenalo, while being a public officer, an Assistant Director and Clerk of the Committee on Education of the House of Reps, in April 2012, when he was acting as the Secretary of the Ad-hoc Committee, was offered gratification by Otedola but failed to report the offer to any officer of the ICPC or any police officer.
The offence according to ICPC is contrary to section 17 (1) (a), section 8(1) (a) (b) (ii), and section 23 (i) of the Corrupt practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000. It is punishable under section 8 (1) 17 (1) and 23(3) of the same Act. 

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