Former chairman of the House of Representative Committee Monitoring Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan, was again arraigned before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court at Lugbe, Abuja. Faruk was arraigned on a three-count charge of obtaining money from the chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas, Femi Otedola, sometimes in April, 2012.
The accused, who was docked for obtaining the sum of $500,000 as inducement from Otedola to remove the name of his company from those indicted in the subsidy scam pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge.
Prosecuting counsel, Adeboyega Awomolo, told Justice A.O. Otaluka that he was withdrawing the charges against the second accused person, Emmanuel Emenalo and is ready to arraign Faruk Lawan for the offence. Justice Otaluka consequently dropped the charges against Emenalo and ordered the prosecution to retain his international passport and other travel documents.
Defence counsel, Ricky Tarfa, applied for bail on liberal grounds for Lawan. Ruling on the bail application, Justice Otaluka granted Lawan bail in the sum of N10million and sureties in like sum. The judge ordered that Farouk’s international passport and all travel documents must be deposited before the court registrar, while the sureties must be property owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and must all be a level 14 officers in the employment of the Federal Government.
The trial judge further ordered that the accused should seek the permission of the court before travelling out of Nigeria. Justice Otaluka also ordered that Lawan be remanded in prison custody until all the bail conditions are met, and consequently adjourned the case till April 15 and 16, for the trial to begin.