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ICPC to prosecute Lawan for alleged $620,000 bribery

07 August 2012, 16:05

Abuja - Barring any last minute change, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other- related offences  Commission will  in the next few days file criminal charges against  former Chairman, House of Represensatives, Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Management, Farouk Lawan,  and a civil servant, Boniface Emenalo.

The two accused persons are to be arraigned before a Federal High Court for bribery and corruption as well as for destruction of evidence.

Both men are to be prosecuted for allegedly receiving $620,000 bribe from the Chairman, Zenon Oil & Gas, Femi Otedola, on April 23.

Our correspondent  learnt  that the police had concluded their investigations and had  forwarded the  report to the Attorney-General of the Federation for directives.

According to sources,  the police are   awaiting instructions from the AGF.

It was learnt that the  ICPC was saddled with  the task of prosecuting the suspects  because of their status.

“The police have submitted their report to higher authorities and are awaiting further directives; we believe the ICPC will file charges against the accused persons and we pray they will carry out the prosecution diligently because we have given them a water-tight report,” a source said on Monday.

It was learnt that the ICPC might call  on the investigators as prosecution witnesses in a case that is expected to be seriously contested by Lawan’s lawyers.

The  absence of the bribe money is believed to be a vital point for the lawyers, but sources said the police had plugged this loophole in their  investigation with the audio recording of the exchange between Lawan and Otedola.

Lawan’s admission to detectives that he collected the alleged bribe “to expose Otedola”  was said to be a strong evidence that proved that he was criminally culpable.

Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, declined  comments on why the police did not prosecute the accused persons, saying he could only give out information “on a need-to-know basis”.  The Police Special Task Force had in June commenced a probe into  the bribery scandal following a letter from the Presidency asking the IG to investigate the matter.

In the course of the investigation, the STF invited Otedola who wrote a statement and also gave the audio tape of the transaction between him and Lawan to the police.



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