Appeal Court dismisses Lawan’s ‘no-case submission’ in $3m bribery trial
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has dismissed the appeal filed by former member of the House of Representatives from Kano State, Farouk Lawan. Lawan, in the suit, seeks to terminate the $3 million bribery charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
But the appellate court, in a unanimous decision yesterday, held that a prima facie case had been established against him, warranting him to enter his defence in the three-count charge brought against him since 2013.
Delivering judgment in the appeal filed against the ruling of an Abuja High Court, which held that Lawan had a case to answer, Justice Olabisi Ige held that the decision of the lower court was well founded.
Ige stated that contrary to Lawan’s argument, the prosecution’s evidence at the high court was not in anyway discredited, hence the rejection of his ‘no-case submission’.
The court also held that the language of the trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka, which Lawan complained about, did not place the plaintiff in disadvantaged position or was inimical to his trial.
Ige, who quoted copiously from the record of proceedings of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, especially the testimonies of the five witnesses called by the Federal Government, upheld Otaluka’s findings that there was sufficient evidence linking Lawan to the offences.
“I am of the firm view, and I have no doubt, that the oral and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently linked the appellant to the charges against him and to warrant his being called upon to make his defence.
“Prosecution evidence was not slanted in favour of the prosecution. In all, the four issues raised in this appeal are hereby resolved against the appellant. His appeal, being unmeritorious, is hereby dismissed”, the court held.
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