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Supreme Court Upholds Farouk Lawan’s Five-year Jail Term




Supreme Court Upholds Farouk Lawan’s Five-year Jail Term

The Supreme Court has affirmed the five-year jail term handed to a former member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, by the Court of Appeal.

Naija News recalls that Lawan was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2021 for accepting a $500,000 bribe from a Nigerian businessman and the former Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, Femi Otedola.

In a unanimous judgment on Friday, a five-member panel affirmed the 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal, which upheld Lawan’s sentencing to five years in respect of only count three on the three-count charge on which he was tried at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In the lead judgment prepared by Justice John Okoro but read on Friday by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, the apex court found that Lawan’s appeal was without merit and dismissed it.

Recall that Lawan, while he was the chairman of the Ad-hoc committee probing a multi-billion Naira subsidy fraud, had demanded $3 million in bribes from Otedola to remove his company, Zenon Oil and Gas Company, from the list of oil companies accused of participating in the fraud.

The politician was arraigned in court by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in 2012 for allegedly receiving $500,000 from Otedola.

It was further gathered that Lawan entered hot water after Otedola reported him to the DSS. The agency gave Otedola $500,000 in marked notes and planted a camera in Otedola’s home to record the ex-reps member collecting the bribe.

Although the former lawmaker had been walking freely while awaiting the court to determine his fate in the bribery charges filed against him, he is expected to spend the night in jail after he was found guilty of the counts.

In the first count, he was said to have corruptly asked Otedola for a bribe of $3 million as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.

Count two also stated that Lawn collected the sum of $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zenon Petroleum and Gas from the fuel subsidy probe report.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.