Subsidy Scam: Keyamo writes Adoke, files 4-count charge against Farouk, Emenalo

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

…Tenders proof of evidence; gives AGF 6-days ultimatum to endorse charge
ABUJA- Sequel to the expiration of the ultimatum he handed to the Police last week, Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, Wednesday, entered a 4-count criminal charge against the erstwhile Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy probe, Farouk Lawal for allegedly collecting the sum of $3million as bribe from oil mogul, Mr Femi Otedola.

Also joined as the 2nd accused person in the charge which was filed before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court was former Secretary of the fuel subsidy probe Committee, Mr Boniface Emenalo.

Keyamo maintained that the proof of evidence adduced against the two lawmakers over the alleged role they played in the cash-for-clearance scandal, indicted them to acts of criminal conspiracy, gratification and criminal intimidation contrary to sections 96 and 396 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT, as well as, Section 12(1) (a-b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap C31, LFN 2004.

According to him, their offence is punishable under section 97 and 387of the two aforementioned Acts, respectively.
Meantime, in view of the seeming unwillingness on the part of both the Police authorities and the Federal Government to prosecute the case, Keyamo, has given the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, a 6-days ultimatum to either okay the already drafted charge or hands-off the matter to enable him as a private prosecutor to conduct the trial.

In a letter he sent to the AGF alongside a copy of the charge he personally drafted against Farouk and Emenalo, Keyamo, insisted that Adoke, SAN, must “indicate whether he is prepared to prosecute or not,” on or before the close of official business on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, “to enable me determine my next line of action,” he added.

The letter read: “My name is Festus Keyamo. I am a Nigerian citizen, legal practitioner, senior member of the Nigerian Bar, private prosecutor, social crusader and critic.

Rep. Farouk Lawan

Rep. Farouk Lawan

“Last week, I gave a seven-day ultimatum to the Police to commence prosecution of one Farouk Lawan, a member of the House of Representatives and his accomplice, one Boniface Emenalo, for agreeing to and actually accepting gratification from one Femi Otedola in order to doctor the report of the House ad-hoc Committee on fuel subsidy.

“From reports I read in the media after issuing my ultimatum, the Police have passed the buck over to your office for the inaction so far, claiming it has finished the investigation and that your office has just refused to file charges for reasons unknown to the public.

“It is for the above reasons I have prepared a Charge (attached herewith) for the purpose of private prosecution.
“Therefore, consequent upon Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Cap. C41, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, I forward herewith the following proof of evidence and documents to you:(1) The Criminal Charge against Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo.

(2) The proof of evidence: (a) A recording of a telephone conversation between Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola contained in a memory card wherein Farouk Lawan was soliciting or asking for gratification to doctor his report, and appealing to Otedola to keep it secret. (b) The transcript of the said recording.“(c) Court processes (including a sworn testimony on oath) in Suit No. FCT/3839/2012: BETWEEN ZENON PET. & GAS LTD. & ANOR. V. LAWAN & ORS, where the graphic details of how the accused persons solicited for, and received gratification from Femi Otedola are stated. Needless to say that these are just proofs of evidence and the originals shall only be presented during trial.

“May I kindly request that, by virtue of Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Cap. C41, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, you endorse on the Charge whether, having seen the Charge, you are prepared to prosecute Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo for the counts in the Charge or whether you have declined to prosecute at the public instance the counts in the said Charge.

“The position of the law is that, before I commence private prosecution, you should be given the opportunity to prosecute or to decline to prosecute. This is what I have done by this letter.

“I will expect your reply by the close of official business on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, to enable me determine my next line of action.

“I sincerely hope you will make your decision one way or the other as any indecision on your part will amount to a refusal to act as held by the Supreme Court in the case of CHIEF GANI FAWEHINMI V. COL. HALILU AKILU & ANOR: IN RE: ODUNEYE reported in 1987 (4 NWLR) P. 67. In that case, it will be all-clear signal I require to file the Charge.”

Specifically, the 4-count charge Keyamo filed against the duo reads: “That you, Honourable Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo, sometime between January and July 2012 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of Federal High Court, conspired to corruptly demand and receive the sum of $3,000,000.00 (Three Million US Dollars) as gratification from Femi Otedola, and thereby committed the offence of Criminal Conspiracy contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT and punishable under Section 97 the same Act.

“That you, Honourable Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo, sometime between January and July 2012 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of Federal High Court, corruptly asked for, received and obtained the sum of $620,000.00 (Six Hundred and Twenty Thousand US Dollars) as bribe from Femi Otedola, and thereby committed the offence of gratification by an Official contrary to Section 12(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap C31, LFN 2004 and punishable under the same section.

“That you, Honourable Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo, sometime between January and July 2012 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of Federal High Court, corruptly agreed to receive the sum of $3,000,000.00 (Three Million US Dollars) as gratification from Femi Otedola, and thereby committed the offence of Gratification by an Official contrary to Section 12(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, Cap C31, LFN 2004 and punishable under the same section.

“That you, Honourable Farouk Lawan and Boniface Emenalo, sometime between January and June 2012 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of Federal High Court, threatened one Femi Otedola with injury to his reputation and his companies, with intent to cause alarm to Femi Otedola and to cause Femi Otedola to give you a gratification of $3,000,000.00 (Three Million US Dollars) in order to avoid the said injury, and thereby committed the offence of Criminal Intimidation contrary to Section 396 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of FCT and punishable under Section 387 of the same Act.”

 

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