Law News
$620,000 Bribe: Court Releases Emenalo’s Passport to Him

An Abuja High Court on Wednesday granted an application for the release of the international passport of the former secretary to the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Boniface Emenalo, to enable him attend a conference outside the country.

Emenalo and the former chairman of the committee, Farouk Lawan, are standing trial for allegedly obtaining $620,000 bribe from an oil magnet, Femi Otedola.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko, who had earlier refused the application for stay of proceedings brought before her by counsel to the accused persons, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), ordered that Emenalo to return his travel document to the court registrar on or before November 17 after returning from the conference.

The court’s decision to release Emenalo’s travel document followed a no-objection submission to the application by the prosecution counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN).

Ozekhome had on Tuesday told the court that the matter could not go on as there was a pending appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Appeal Court which refused to quash the charges.

Awomolo, while opposing the application for the stay of proceedings, reminded the court of its order to proceed with the matter irrespective of the appeal.

They were arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a seven-count charge bordering on receipt of bribe and abuse of office in relation to the allegation that they received $620, 000 as bribe from the Chairman oof Zenon Oil and Gas, Femi Otedola, to exclude the names of his companies, Zenon Petroleum and Gas and Synopsis Enterprises Limited from the list of companies found to have allegedly defrauded the federal government of billions of naira through subsidy claims.

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