Justice Angela Otaluka of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo on Tuesday 11 February,2020 adjourned the case of 500,000 dollars bribery allegation against a former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan to March 5, 2020.
Hon. Farouk Lawan is Kano state born politician who represented Bagwai/Shanono, Federal Constituency Kano State between1999 and 2015 at the National Assembly. Farouk Muhammad Lawan was born July 1962.
Lawan rose to his political climax after he served as the chairman House Committee on Finance under former Speaker Aminu Masari. He galvanized some important issues thereby exposing some fraudulent activities. His fearless and uncompromising nature earned him the sobriquet ‘Mr. Integrity’.
It is on record that he formed a caucus in the House named the; ‘Integrity Group’. They opposed the first female Speaker Hon. Patricia Etteh, after being paraded for financial mismanagement, which led to her resignation before the emergence of Hon. Dimeji Bankole.
In January 2012, Lawan made the chairman of the House of Representatives committee that investigated the Nigerian government’s fuel subsidies. The committee was set up in the wake of nationwide strikes in Nigeria after President Goodluck Jonathan removed a fuel subsidy that resulted in the doubling in the price of fuel.
The Committee’s report released in April the same year revealed a huge scam in which Nigerian fuel companies were being paid hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies by the government for fuel that was never delivered. It was estimated the scam cost the country $6.8 million.
Farouk’s political career received some knocks when the human in him overtook his sense of integrity. His integrity was put to test when he allegedly solicited for bribe from billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola.
In February 2013, Lawan was charged with corruption after he allegedly accepted $500,000 from Femi Otedola, a Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon, as part of a $3 million bribe Lawan had solicited from Otedola. Otedola claimed that Lawan demanded the bribe in order to have his company, Zenon, removed from the list of companies that the committee had been implicated in the scandal.
The initial fuel subsidy report said that Zenon owed more than $1 million to the government, but legislators later voted to remove the firm from the final report. Lawan said that he accepted the money in order to expose blackmail and informed the committee and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) about it.
Mr Femi Otedola, a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former member of House of Representatives, Mr Farouk Lawan, over bribery allegation has said the 500,000 dollars offered to the defendant is from the Department of State Service (DSS).
Otedola disclosed this before Justice Angela Otaluka of the FCT High Court, when he appeared the court while being cross examined by Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to Lawan.
Further hearing on the case will come up on March 5, 2020.