An Abuja High Court on Friday granted bail to Honourable Farouk Lawan in the sum of N 10 million and two sureties in like sum. Hon Lawan and Boniface Emenalo who were both granted bail are facing charges bordering on corruption for demanding a bribe of $ 3 million from Mr Femi Otedola, the Managing Director of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited. Both of them have been remanded in prison custody since last Ffriday when they appeared in court.
Ruling on their bail application, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi observed that from the application and the 26-paragraph affidavit filed by Damola Fakoya of Ricky Terfa and Co that supported the bail application, the accused applicants reported to the police and were detained on the 18th day of June, 2012 and were granted bail by the police.
He also noted that the applicants have adhered to the terms of the administrative bail granted them by the police. Justice .
The judge also noted that the offences for which the applicants are standing trial in Section 8(1)B(ii), 23(i) and 10 a (ii) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act of 2000 may not ordinarily be bailable considering Section 34 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code that persons standing trial for an offence that carries a term that is more than 3 years may not ordinarily be bailed. He however gave the conditions for which persons charged for such offences may be admitted to bail, which include that the proper investigation will not be prejudiced and that the accused person will not commit another offence in the course of being admitted to bail.
He also observed that the affidavit supporting the application stated that the accused persons will comply with whated=ver terms on which they are admitted to bail.
Justice Oniyangi noted that the prosecution did not file any counter affidavit against the application. He also stated in the ruling that “facts deposed to and not controverted must be taken by the court as true”. He went further that the prosecution has no response to what the applicants averred to. “In the absence of any counter affidavit to controvert or challenge the application, the court is left with only one option that is to accept them as true and to admit the applicants to bail. Moreso, the applicants have been on administrative bail since June 18, 2012 and there is no suggestion that they will fail to stand trial”.
He therefore granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of N 10 million and two sureties in like sum . “The accused applicants must deposit their international passports with the Registrar of the court. They should not travel without the permission of this hounourable court”, Justice Oniyangi ruled.
He thereafter adjourned till April 10th and 17th, 2013 for hearing.