An FCT High Court sitting in Lugbe has adjourned the trial of a former chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk M. Lawan, over alleged bribery for over three months.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) is prosecuting Lawan for allegedly collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from businessman, Femi Otedola. Lawan was accused of accepting the bribe in exchange for the removal of Otedola’s company’s name, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, the defence counsel, Benson Igbanoi who is holding brief for Mike Ozekhome (SAN), pleaded with the court to adjourn the case in order to allow Ozekhome carry out the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness, David Igbodo.
The prosecution counsel, Olajide Olaleye, holding brief for Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), confirmed that Ozekhome had earlier contacted Awomolo to inform him of his inability to make it to court and that the prosecution would not object to the application for adjournment.
The presiding judge, Justice A.O. Otaluka, informed the counsel that adjourning the trial for a long period was against the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) which dictates that criminal trial must continue on a day-to-day basis. However, as a result of the approaching court vacation, the trial was adjourned to October 11 for definite continuation of trial.