Justice Angela Otaluka of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Apo thursday ordered a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Farouk Lawan, to enter his defence in a case of $500,000 bribery allegation against him.
The court had overruled the no-case submission made by Lawan, through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) concerning the $500,000 bribery allegation against him.
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.
Otaluka, therefore, ruled that the no-case submission made by the defendant was thereby overruled.
The judge adjourned the case until November 11, for the defendant to open his defence.
Ozekhome had on October 10, filed a no-case submission at the continued hearing of the bribery allegation against Lawan.
The senior lawyer in his submission said that the prosecution had failed to solidly establish the defendant’s intent to commit the offence he was charged with.
He stated that the prosecution’s witnesses gave conflicting statements about the amount Lawan was alleged to have collected as a bribe.
Ozekhome also said that the video evidence the prosecution presented was blurred and could not prove that the content of the envelope Otedola gave Lawan was money.
He stated that the failure of the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest Lawan immediately was enough evidence that they had no proof.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Lawan was being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting $500,000 part of a $3 million bribe.
The money was said to have been requested to facilitate the removal of Otedola’s company from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy in 2012.