The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Apo, Abuja, has declared that there were elements of corruption in Farouk Lawan’s conduct as the chairman of then House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the fraud around fuel subsidy regime.
Angela Otaluka, the trial judge, arrived at this finding while delivering judgment in the trial of Mr Lawan on bribery charges on Tuesday.
She was still reading the judgment as of the time of filing this report at about 2.20 p.m on Tuesday.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that the court has dismissed Mr Lawan’s preliminary objection against the trial that has spanned nine years.
The former lawmaker is being prosecuted on charges of or receiving a bribe of $500,000 from Femi Otedola, a billionaire oil magnate. The money was part of the $3milllion Mr Lawan requested to have the businessman’s firms removed from the list of companies indicted for fuel subsidy fraud.
While evaluating evidence in her judgement on Tuesday, the trial judge, Ms Otaluka, noted that from the pool of evidence before the court, the prosecuting lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, had established a case of corrupt practices against the defendant in Count One of the charge that borders on corruptly requesting for a bribe of three million dollars.
“Count One of the charges is not based on suspicion but on credible evidence. The defendant (Mr Lawan) corruptly asked for $3million and received a $500,000 bribe in two tranches from Femi Otedola.
“The conduct of the defendant established the ingredients of corruption which he was charged to court, as he did not report any case of inducement to any law enforcement agency,” the judge says.