Judge withdraws from $620,000 Farouk Lawan bribery suit

Farouk Lawan

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court, Gudu, Abuja, who presided over the alleged $620,000 bribery suit brought against a member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, withdrew from the case on Tuesday.

The judge ordered that the suit be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Ibrahim Bukar.

Mr. Lawan, a former Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee on Fule Subsidy Regime, and the Secretary of the Committee, Boniface Emenalo, are being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, for receiving the bribe from a businessman, Femi Otedola.

The suit commenced on February 2013 when Messrs. Lawan and Emenalo, were arraigned on a seven-count charge.

Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi had presided over the suit until his elevation to the Court of Appeal, the reason it was assigned to Mrs. Banjoko.

The lawmaker, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, had on October 29, filed an application demanding the withdrawal of Mrs. Banjoko, but withdrew it.

Besides, Mr. Lawan personally petitioned the FCT Chief Judge, alleging that the judge may likely be bias because of her close relationship with Mr. Otedola, who is the accuser and a witness in the case.

Despite the withdrawal of the application by Mr. Lawan, the judge still quit, saying that though Mr. Bukar had cleared her of the allegation against her by the lawmaker, Mrs. Banjoko said it was a “scandalous challenge” on her integrity.

She said, “In my 17 years on the bench, six years and as a magistrate and 11 years as a judge, I have never been confronted with a scandalous challenge of my integrity.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Mr. Ozekhome, who withdrew the application he filed on behalf of his client, pleaded with the judge on Tuesday to ignore the wrong impression it might have created.

The prosecuting counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, who also apologised on behalf of Mr. Lawan, asked Mrs. Banjoko, to continue to handle the case, but the judge declined.

While denying that she was not in any way close to Mr. Otedola, the judge insisted she would stay away from the case because “justice is rooted in confidence.” She also stated that the lawmaker had already exhibited lack of confidence in her.

According to her, “In the prevailing circumstances, I do find it difficult to continue this case. This case is returned to the honourable Chief Judge for re-assignment.”


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  • Okiemute1

    …and this idiotic bribe taker remains in the Senate earning $1.7m per yr…and my Ogoni & Bodo people who own the resources can’t even get clean water to drink again bcos pollution has rendered it suicidal to drink from our rivers or cultivate our lands…

    My Niger Delta people, how long will we tolerate Nigeria? We need to take charge of our resources now.

    • Shahokaya

      ….And Jonathan and PDP have given him automatic ticket for 2015!!!!

  • Frank Bassey

    This has nothing to do with PDP. It is the ‘silent’ way of stealing which Muslims cover under their ‘Agbada’ to point accusing fingers on the Presidency. Perhaps, he too would have defected to APC but for this scandal that has beaten him into tragic mess.

    • concerned me

      “It is the ‘silent’ way of stealing which Muslims cover under their ‘Agbada’. What has the bribery case got to do with muslim? Are Bode Goerge, Alamesia, Odili, Patricia, Fani and Odile muslims? So all christains are thieves in essence.

  • Guguru

    Under Jonathan, the thieves and criminals of Nigeria have found a new friend and leader. Fani Kayode’s case was discharged. Lawan’s case has also been discharged with no single person going to jail. How can anyone say Jonathan does not imbibe in criminal behavior? Under the Jonathan administration, there are no thieves. Only angels exist.

  • MushinSpeaks

    PDP and its show of executive recklessness; this same Farouk will also show interest to hold elective position after his show of shame. Well, we have the likes of Bode George, Alams, Odili, Gbenga Daniel, Buruji Kashamu and many other dirty and dunce politicians in the PDP.