Abuja - A Nigerian Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the trial of two House of Representative members, Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo accused of demanding and collecting $620 000 bribe from an oil magnate, Femi Otedola, to free his company of petrol subsidy fraud.
Farouk and Emenalo were members of the fuel subsidy fraud investigation committee set up by the Nigeria House of Representative to look into several cases of fraud perpetrated by oil marketers in the country.
The committees findings were merged in controversies following allegation by oil magnate Femi Otedola that Farouk and Emenalo who were heads of the probe committee had solicited for $620 000 from him to exonerate his company from fuel subsidy fraud.
The two lawmakers were subsequently arrested and later charged to an Abuja High Court over bribery allegation.
They however appealed the charges against them on the ground that allegations were baseless and that the trial court lacks the competence to trial them.
The court presided over by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi this morning dismissed the application of the accused to quash the charges.
The court ruled in favour of the prosecution, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, on the three issues.
The court ruled that it has jurisdiction, that there is evidence of crime against the prosecution, and that the charges are not an abuse of court process.
The counsel to the lawmakers said he would consult with his clients before deciding on appeal.
- CAJ News