The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission will on Tuesday re-arraign a former Chairman, House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan, before a Federal High Court in Lugbe Division, Abuja, on a charge of $620,000 bribery.
Lawan is to be re-arraigned along with his then secretary in the committee, Boniface Emenalo, before Justice Angela Otaluka.
The re-arraignment was prompted by the withdrawal of the former trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, who was presiding over the case in Gudu division of the FCT judiciary, up till November 2014 when he returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the FCT for re-assignment to another judge over allegation of bias levelled against her by Lawan.
Lawan had, in a petition to the Chief Judge of the FCT seeking the re-assignment of the case to another judge, stated that Justice Banjoko was close to a business mogul, Mr. Femi Otedola, who was the accuser and a proposed prosecution witness in the case.
Apart from the petition, Lawan had also through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), filed a motion before Justice Banjoko, asking her to disqualify herself from further handling the case on the same grounds of likelihood of bias.
He had in the two documents alleged that the judge was likely to be biased against him because she and her family were close to Otedola, who was the Chairman, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited.
Justice Banjoko voluntarily withdrew from the case and ordered the case file to be returned to the FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Bukar, despite the withdrawal of the motion filed by Lawan.
The accused persons were re-arraigned before Justice Banjoko on June 11, 2014, following the elevation of the initial trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, to the Court of Appeal.