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Court halts presecution of indicted company

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday 4th July stopped the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Minister of Justice from prosecuting Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, one of the companies indicted by the Farouk Lawan ad hoc committee on fuel subsidy probe as the indicted company had dragged the Attorney General and five others before the court to stop them from prosecuting it.

Soon after the report was sent to the Attorney General by the president, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited dragged the Attorney General of the Federation, the House of Representatives, Honourable Farouk Lawan, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to court to challenge the report.

The committee had in its report asked Integrated Oil and Gas to refund N13. 2 billion subsidy refunds paid to it by the Federal Government for petroleum products it imported between 2006 and 2011 on the grounds that the amount was not sustainable.

The company was dissatisfied and had through its counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN instituted the suit seeking, among others, to nullify the committee’s report because it was not given fair hearing before the committee came to its conclusion.

The company, therefore, asked the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining the Attorney-General of the Federation from acting on the report.

However, the trial judge, Justice Gladys Olotu granted the interim order after counsel in the matter agreed that nothing will be done with the company in respect of the report until the case before the court is determined.

Meanwhile, Honourable Zakari Mohammed, chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, has said the House of Representatives is committed to ensuring that corrupt individuals, groups or organisations do not go free in spite of the fuel subsidy scandal.

Mohammed called on relevant agencies of government to implement the report of the House in respect of the fuel subsidy probe. He said the alleged bribery scandal and subsequent reactions were deliberate to rubbish the report put together by the ad hoc committee on subsidy regime.

The Lawan committee had recommended the indicted companies for prosecution.

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