$500,000 alleged bribe: Go face your trial, Appeal Court tells Farouk Lawan

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Tuesday dismissed the appeal brought before it by a former member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan challenging the ruling of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which rejected his no case submission.

The trial court had, in a ruling, dismissed Lawan’s no case submission and ordered him to enter his defence in a case of $500,000 bribery allegation preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Justice Olabisi Ige who delivered the judgment held that the prosecution has sufficiently linked the appellant (Farouk Lawan) to the alleged offences slated in the 3-count charge filed against him.

The appellate court held that the rejection of Lawan’s no case submission by the trial court was well-founded and that, there is no miscarriage of justice by the trial judge.
“The lower court was right in its decision calling on the appellant to enter his defence.
“From the evidence of the five witnesses called by the prosecution, coupled with the documentary evidence placed before the court by the prosecution, I am of the view that the prosecution has sufficiently established a prima facie case against the appellant to warrant him enter his defence,” Justice Ige held.

Justice Ige consequently dismissed Farouk Lawan’s appeal for lacking in merit and affirmed the ruling of the trial court, which ordered the former lawmaker to open his defence in the matter.

It would be recalled that Justice Angela Otaluka of Abuja High Court overruled the no-case submission made by Lawan, through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
The judge held that the perusal of evidence before the court showed that the prosecution had made a case sufficient enough for the defendant to make some explanations and adjourned the case to November 11 last year for Lawan to open defence and instead of doing that, he headed to the appellate court to challenge the decision of the trial court.

Lawan was being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting 500,000 dollars part of a 3 million dollars bribe.

The money was said to have been requested to facilitate the removal of Femi Otedola’s company from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy in 2012, which the former House of Reps member was the chairman.

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