The trial of the embattled former chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime, Honourable Farouk Lawan and the secretary of the Committee, Boniface Emenalo, which was meant to commence before an Abuja High Court on Wednesday, could not commence due to an application brought by the accused persons. challenging the jurisdiction of the court and asking it to quash the charges of receiving $620,000 from an oil magnate, Femi Otedola to doctor the report of the committee in favour of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr Rickey Tarfa, SAN, submitted that the court ought not to have granted the application for leave to prefer the charges because the prosecution failed to provide adequate materials necessary for the court to exercise discretion to grant the application.
In his argument to quash the charges, Tarfa asked the court to discharge the accused persons since no prima facie case had been made against them, adding that the foundation of the case against them was not legally laid. He added that prosecutor failed to comply with the provisions of Section 155 (1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code which required that statements of witnesses be attached to the application to prefer charges.
However, in his own response, prosecution counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN asked the court to dismiss the application, even as he described it as a tactic to waste the time of the court, vexatious and an abuse of court process.
The trial judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, after listening to both parties fixed May 2 to deliver ruling on the application.