Billionaire oil and business magnate, Femi Otedola, will testify for the prosecution in the ongoing ‘bribery’ trial of a former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan.
Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly receiving $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from Otedola in exchange for the removal of the businessman’s company’s name from the list of firms indicted for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.
The chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited has been scheduled to appear as the second prosecution witness before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Lugbe, Abuja, during the resumption of trial.
The presiding judge, Justice Angela Otakula, had on Tuesday adjourned the case till March 7 and 8 to enable the first prosecution witness, Boniface Emenalo, to conclude his evidence.
Emenalo, who was then secretary to the Lawan-led committee, was initially charged alongside Lawan with respect to the bribery charge.
The pair were first arraigned before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, then of the FCT High Court on February 2, 2013.
Emenaloe was later removed as a defendant, owing to the amendment to the charges of the ICPC- which made Lawan the sole accused person in the case.
The amended charges, comprising three counts instead of the previous seven, now indicated that Lawan corruptly asked for $3m from Otedola and did corruptly collect $500,000 from the businessman.
The offences are said to be contrary to sections 8(1)(a) and 17(1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under sections 8(1) and 17(1) of the same Act.