Following the Nigerian Government’s bow to pressure in filing charges against the former House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Chairman on Fuel Subsidy regime - Farouk Lawan and his alleged accomplice, the Committee’s Secretary - Boniface Emenalo in a bribery scandal; Lawan has been remanded in custody till February 8.
Seven charges have been filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja in which among others: Lawan and Emenalo are accused of conspiring to corruptly demand $3 million from Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited. They are alleged to have received $620,000 before the lid was blown on their activities.
The charge is alleged to be an inducement to remove the name of Zenon from the committee’s report and did cause the House of Representatives to remove same from the said list.
According to the government prosecutor, Lawan who has four of the seven-count charge also corruptly obtained $500,000 from Otedola as an inducement to remove the name of Zenon from the report.
In another charge, Emenalo was alleged to have corruptly asked for $3 million from Otedola to remove the name of his company from the list of companies indicted in the fuel subsidy scam.
He was also alleged to have received gratification from the oil magnet and refused to report the offer of gratification to any officer of the ICPC, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 23 (1) of the ICPC Act and punishable under Section 23 (3) of the same Act.
Emenalo was also accused of receiving $120, 000 as gratification from Otedola in order to remove his company’s name from the report.
The government bowed to pressure from a private-practising lawyer - Festus Keyamo, who had written to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), stating his readiness to commence action against the duo if the Federal Government was not willing to do so; a situation, which the AGF criticised.