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Otedola appeals to court to hear his N250billion suit against Tambuwal and Farouk Lawan

Channels Television  
Updated November 22, 2012

Oil mogul, Mr Femi Otedola has asked an Abuja High Court to allow and sustain the N250 billion suit he filed against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal and former chairman of the Fuel Subsidy probe committee, Representative Farouk Lawan.

Mr Otedola in the suit alleged that he suffered harassment, intimidation and some business losses from the defendants.

Counsel to the oil mogul, Mr Babajide Kokusan told the presiding judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke, that the law makers should not be allowed to hide under any legislative immunity to escape the action they committed outside their legislative powers.

Reacting to the lawmaker’s plea that suit action be dismissed because they cannot be sued on any action carried out on behalf of the house, Otedola’s counsel argued that the defendants were sued in their personal capacities for the intimidation he (Femi Otedola) suffered from phone calls before he parted with $620,000 out of $3million bribe demanded and collected by Mr Lawan.

He insisted that legislative immunity cannot be used to defend the allegation of request and receipt of bribe and asked the judge to make the two defendants defend themselves as allowed by law.

Mr Kokusan also objected to the prayer of Tambuwal and Farouk that the Federal High Court and not Abuja Court can adjudicate over the matter because the House of Representatives was an agency of the federal government.

His counsel argued that the case of Otedola and Zenon Oil Ltd was on the demand for bribe with the use of harassment and intimidation and not an attack against the fuel subsidy or the report of the subsidy committee.

He further adds that the issue of jurisdiction of a court in any matter could be determined by the nature of reliefs, facts and statement of claims and that since the suit did not challenge the revenue of the federal government or the administrative decision of the national assembly, an Abuja High Court has the power and jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Speaker of the House of Representative and Mr Lawan had through their counsels, Kehinde Ogunwumiju and Mike Ahamba opposed the suit filed by Otedola.

They claimed that the two lawmakers enjoy absolute legislative immunity for words spoken on the floor of the house.

Justice Kekemeke will however rule on January 30 on whether to maintain or strike out the case.












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