An FCT High Court has granted a request by former Chairman of House of Representatives’ adhoc Committee on fuel subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan, fortemporary release of his passport.
Lawan begged the court to release his passport to enable him perform his religious obligations in Saudi Arabia.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi ruled in favour of the lawmaker.
The court held that it could not have denied him the request since the Federal Government prosecuting him was not opposing the bid and that Lawan himself satisfactorily convinced the court with verifiable facts relating to his travel.
The court consequently ruled that “the Senior Registrar of Court 27 (of the FCT High Courts) where the defendant submitted his passport as part of his bail conditions is hereby ordered to release the passport;
“The defendant is to report back to the country on or before the 30th of September, 2016 and deposit his passport to the senior registrar of Court 27 in line with the conditions of his bail”, the Judge ruled.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) is prosecuting Lawan for allegedly “corruptly” collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from businessman, Femi Otedola.
Lawan was accused of accepting the bribe in exchange for the removal of Otedola’s company’s name, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.
During last hearing of the case before court vacation, Justice O. A. Otaluka of court 27 sitting in Lugbe had adjourned the matter to October 11 for definite continuation of trial.
This was because of the inability of the defense counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) to avail himself for the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness, David Igbodo.