Lawan Farouk and Boniface Emenalo, both Chairman and Secretary of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Adhoc Committee for the probe of the oil subsidy regime were on Friday arraigned before an Abuja High Court on a seven count charge for allegedly soliciting for and obtaining the sum of $620,000 from businessman Femi Otedola, chairman of Zenon Oil.
Both lawmakers pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court subsequently adjourned till 8 February, to rule on the bail application moved by their lawyers led by Mr. Rickey Tarfa and Chief Mike Ozhekome, both senior advocates of Nigeria. The court remanded the accused persons to Kuje Prison pending the court’s ruling on their bail application.
Last year, Mr Lawan chaired the House of Representative committee that produced the fuel scam report, accusing some of those who import fuel of massive corruption.
It called for a total overhaul of the oil ministry and for the prosecution of companies and some powerful individuals who had benefited from the swindle.
The investigation was set up in the wake of angry nationwide protests in January 2012 after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy.