The trial of Hon. Farouk Lawan for allegedly receiving $620,000 in order to doctor the report of his ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy investigation would commence this week, said the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN).
Adoke, who was speaking over the weekend, said that all is set for the trial to begin.
Lawan, chairman of the House ad hoc committee that probed fuel subsidy payments by the Federal Government, is accused of collecting $620, 000 from oil tycoon, Femi Otedola, in order to strike his Zenon Oil of the list of indicted companies.
Otedola alleged that the Lawan-led committee had actually demanded for $3million.
Prior to Adoke announcing the date of the commencement of the trial, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo had threatened last Tuesday to begin private prosecution of Lawan.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), who has secured Adoke’s fiat to prosecute Farouk, reacted to Keyamo’s statement by saying the office of the AGF is too responsible and busy to react to “market talk”, but that he is sure that the police have finished investigating the allegation, and they have made verifiable facts to the AGF to enable the government begin prosecution of the lawmaker.
‘’Verifiable facts can only come from the police that investigated the matter. You don’t investigate such matters base on what you read in the newspapers or heard over the radio and television. No; that is not investigation. The police, as a responsible organisation have investigated the matter and I can assure you that the AGF will not react to the market talk. The matter will be in court next week.’’
‘’We will prosecute and not persecute. We are men of integrity, honour and learning. Nobody should think that he can use the market language or draw us to open debate on this matter. We are not a civil society organisation.
‘’The AGF is the chief law officer under the Constitution and he will exercise his power responsibly and not irresponsibly to satisfy whims and caprice of civil society organisations. Prosecution is a serious business and a serious statutory duty; it is not a frivolous thing; you don’t do it to catch fancy or to make people to hail you. These are persecutors and not prosecutors.’’
Keyamo had requested Adoke to indicate whether he was prepared to prosecute Lawan or not and had accompanied the letter with a draft charge in readiness to begin prosecution of Lawan, if Adoke fails to do it.