The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission has amended the bribery charges it preferred against a former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan, dropping his co-accused, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, from the case, and turning him into a prosecution witness.
Rather than continue to put Emenalo on trial along with Lawan, the prosecution led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), on Tuesday presented him before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Lugbe, Abuja, as its first witness.
Emenalo, who remains an official of the House of Representatives, served as secretary to the Lawan-led committee in 2012.
Lawan and Emenalo were initially in February 2013, arraigned on seven counts of corruptly accepting sums of money up to $620,000 from a business mogul and Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Mr. Femi Otedola, in the course of performing their committee’s duty in 2012.
Both men were accused of collecting the money in April 2012 from Otedola in order to remove his (Otedola’s) companies’ names from the list of firms indicted by the committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime.
But a later amendment to the charges by the ICPC saw Emenalo’s name removed as a defendant.