Crime and Security

Subsidy bribery scandal: Otedola’s ill health stalls Farouk Lawan’s trial

 

The trial of a former member of House of Representatives, Mr. Farouk Lawal, pending before the FCT High Court was stalled on Tuesday over the ill health of the prosecution witness, Mr. Femi Otedola.

Lawan, who was the Chairman of House of Reps Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Regime, is standing trial in a case being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on behalf of the Federal Government.

When the case resumed on Tuesday, the Prosecution Counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), informed the court that Otedola, who was giving evidence for the prosecution, was not in court on account of ill health.

Awomolo then tendered a medical report notifying the court of the sickness of the Zenon Oil and Gas boss.

The senior advocate said the counsel told the defendant to continue cross examination of the prosecution witness, which started in January.

As a result of the development, Justice Angela Otaluka adjourned the case till June 10 and June 11 for continuation of the hearing.

While being cross examined at the last sitting by Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Otedola told the court that Lawan demanded $3 million from him as bribe to exonerate his company from the alleged subsidy scam in 2012.

According to him, the $500,000 he gave the defendant as part payment from the $3million demanded was given to him (Otedola) by the Department of State Service (DSS).

He said the DSS gave him the money following a petition he wrote against the former lawmaker after he made the demand.

The defendant was a four-term member of the House of Representatives, who represented Bagwai/Shanono Federal Constituency of Kano State between 1999 and 2015.

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