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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Judge Withdraws from Lawan $620,000 Bribery Trial

Former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Mr. Farouk Lawal
Justice Adebukola Banjoko of an Abuja High Court sitting in Guru District on Tuesday recused herself from the trial of a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Mr. Farouk Lawal and the committee's secretary Bonoface Emenalo.

Lawan and Emenalo are being tried on the allegation that they collected $620,000 as bribes from Femi Otedola so as to remove the names of his companies from those which allegedly defrauded the country under the fuel subsidy regime. Justice Banjoko, after withdrawing from the case, directed that the file be returned to the FCT Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Bukar, for re-assignment. She is the second judge to handle the case. Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi who initially heard the case was promoted to the Court of Appeal.

In a short ruling, the judge said that athough the application asking her to disqualify herself  had been withdrawn and the Chief Judge had cleared her of the allegation in Lawan's petition against her, the allegation was a "scandalous challenge" of her integrity.

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