Lagos, Nigeria - The Nigerian Federal Government Thursday, in Abuja, the Federal capital, filed a seven-count charge against the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy regime, Farouk Lawan, and his alleged accomplice, Boniface Emenalo.
According to local media reports, Lawan and Emenalo are alleged to have sometime in April 2012 or thereabout in Abuja, while acting in the course of their official duties as chairman and secretary respectively of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime, conspired between themselves and with each other to corruptly obtain US$ 3 million from Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited.
The charge said the amount was an inducement to remove the Zenon from the committee’s report and did cause the House of Representatives to remove same from the said list and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26(1)(C) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The charge said the offence was punishable under Section 8 (1) of the same Act.
According to the prosecutor, Mrs. O.O. Fatunde, who is also the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Lawan, who has four of the seven-count charge, also corruptly obtained US$ 500,000 from Otedola as an inducement to remove the name of Zenon from the report.
She said that the offence was contrary to Section 17 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 17 (1) of the same Act.
In the fifth count charge, Emenalo was alleged to have corruptly asked for US$ 3 million from Otedola to remove the name of his company from the list of companies indicted in the fuel subsidy scam, thereby violating the ICPC Act, 2000.
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 in count seven of receiving US$ 120, 000 as gratification from Otedola in order to remove his company’s name from the report of the ad-hoc committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime, an action that violates Section 10 (a)(ii) of ICPC Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 10 of the same Act.
The trial of the suspects, under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of the ICPC, begins Friday in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).
However, judicial sources said that Otedola will not face trial because he reported every stage of the saga to security agencies.