A member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, on Friday failed in his bid to quash the seven counts brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, over allegations that he demanded and received the sum of $620,000 as bribe from a businessman, Femi Otedola.
Lawan allegedly committed the crime while serving as chairman of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.
An application filed by Lawan, and his co-accused, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, to quash the charge was dismissed by an Abuja High Court, presided by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi.
The court held that Lawan and Emenalo must face trial as the proof of evidence filed by the ICPC had established a prima facie case against them.
In the application to quash the charge, Lawan and Emenalo’s counsel, Chief Rickey Tarfa (SAN), had attempted to stop the trial by challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
Tarfa had argued that the court should not have granted ICPC the permission to prefer the charge against his clients because the prosecution failed to provide materials which were required for the judge to grant the permission.
Arguing that the foundation of the case was faulty, Terfa also asked the court to discharge the accused persons since no prima facie case had been established against them.
Lawan and Emenalo had pleaded not guilty to the charge when they were arraigned on January 31, 2013.
They are being tried under the Violation of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
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