Honourable Farouk Lawan, Nigeria House of Representatives member who allegedly collected a huge sum of money in bribery in an attempt to manipulate the report of House of Representatives committee on Oil subsidy must answer corruption charges, a court in Abuja has ruled.
Joining Farouk in the House sensational scandal is his colleague and co conspirator to swindle the nation in a major sell-out , Boniface Emenalo and both have been ordered to face trial for corruption charges in the nation’s court of law.
Both honorable members have challenged the decision by anti coruption agencies to charge them for corruption, urging the court to dismiss the bribery charges against them. An Abuja High Court has rejected their of no cases to answer request.
Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of Abuja High Court on Friday morning dismissed the application of the accused seeking to quash the bribery charges.
The court ruled in favour of the prosecution, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission( ICPC), on the three issues, claiming Farouk and his co bribe taker have cases to answer.
The court ruled that it has jurisdiction, that there is evidence of crime by the prosecution against the accused and that the charges against the two law makers ‘are not an abuse of court process’.
The counsel to the lawmakers said he would consult with his clients before deciding on appeal.
The two men are accused of demanding and collecting $620, 000 bribe from an oil magnate, Femi Otedola,in order to de-list the laters company names from those accused of abusing oils subsidy give-outs and to free his companies of petrol subsidy fraud charges.
The case has given many department of the nation’s security and anti corruption agencies the biggest nightmare in the face of attempted subversions even with available evidences of corrupt actions by the duo. One of the party(Otedola)to the bribe case have proved his case beyond reasonable doubts with recorded evidences.
The alleged bribery took place with the involvement of the nation’s security agencies which had been informed prior to the handing over of the bribe with the security agencies carrying out the offer to Farouk and Emenalo in marked money.
Despite many facts on ground and the evidence that the Nigerian security agencies got their facts right on the case, the nation’s typical impunity culture has taken precedence with the top politicians supported by many of his colleagues, using political weight to humiliate the security agencies and twist round many facts and evidence in the bribery case.
As the bribery request was being carried out, recordings were made as the money was being collected while the money was marked by the nation’s security agencies. Despite all the facts, a year has almost rolled by and Farouks has been allowed to travel in and out of the country.
The marked money is yet to be produced on police request even though the police gave it out to prove the corruption case. Different dimensions of the twist by the accused lawyers have been inveted in attempts to kill the case and exonerate the culprits.
A day after the news of the bribery broke out, members of the house of representatives in a hush-hush session said they were passing a vote of confidence on the Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, apparently pre-empting accusation of top House members involvement in the bribe, though no one had linked the entire house in the bribery scandal. The move by the House members and the emergence of some civil bodies issuing press release to absolve Farouk has given credence to the fact that the bribery case may have gone beyond Farouk himself, with other beneficiaries on the background.
However, with the current time buying tactics being implored by the accused lawyers and the prevailing endless occurrences which have been destabilising the mood of the nation, it is being projected that the nation’s culture of impunity may eventually rule the case with the trivialisation to water down the enormity of a serious case of the nation’s betrayal and economic sabotage.
Farouk and Emenalo may appear in court soon to answer charges of bribery and corruption.