Boniface Emenalo, the Clerk to the then House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, has admitted collecting $100,000 from business man Femi Otedola.
Emenalo, admitted collecting the money on Monday at the resumed sitting the trial of the then chairman of the committee, Farouk Lawan before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Lugbe.
The $100,000 was alleged to be part of the $3 million promised Lawan Farouk by Otedola to expunge the names of his companies from the list of indicted companies over the oil subsidy scandal in 2012.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, had dragged Lawan to court for allegedly “corruptly” collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from Otedola in exchange for the removal of the name of the company of the businessman.
Emenalo, who was initially charged alongside Lawan, however testified as a the first prosecution witness, before Justice Angela Otakula.
He said: “I came across Femi Otedola during this assignment on April 24, 2012. I received persistent calls from Mr. Otedola in the morning and reported to Lawan and he asked me to play along with him, that he was with him (Otedola) the previous night.
“When Otedola called again, he asked me to come over to his house. He gave me the description (of his house). When I got there, he also confirmed that he was with my chairman the previous night. He gave me two bundles of dollar bills in $100 denomination. Each bundle was $50,000 making it $100,000 that were not converted.
“When I got back to the office, I wrote a memo forwarding the money to my chairman that same April 24, 2012, which he took from me.”
The prosecution tendered a copy of the memo before the court and was marked Exhibit PW1 C. The defence, led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), did not object to the admissibility of the document.
However, under cross-examination, Emenalo told the court that he was surprised when he read in the newspapers that Otedola actually gave him $120,000, adding that Otedola’s three companies, Zenon Oil & Gas, AP and Forte Oil, were named in the subsidy report.
Ozekhome, after Emenalo’s cross examination by the prosecution, asked for an adjournment to serve the prosecution with a notice to produce an additional statement made by the witness as contained in the prosecution’s proof of evidence.
The judge adjourned till April 12 and 13, 2016 for continuation of trial and cross-examination.
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