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
Lawan was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2021 for accepting $500,000 bribe from businessman, Femi Otedola, Chairman, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.
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 count found that Lawan’s appeal was without merit and proceeded to dismiss it.
A Federal Capital Territory High Court had sentenced Lawan to seven years imprisonment for receiving a $500,000 bribe while serving as the chairman of the House’s ad-hoc committee investigating the fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.
The trial judge, Angela Otaluka, held that Lawan demanded $3m and received $500,000 from Femi Otedola in 2012 to remove Otedola’s oil company, Zenon Oil and Gas, from the list of firms indicted for fraud in the fuel subsidy regime.
She also held that Lawan was guilty of all three counts of corruption and bribery.
Lawan is at the apex court urging the court to set aside the judgments of the lower court.
Reading the lead judgment, Justice Tijani Abubakar upheld the decision of the appeal court and dismissed the appeal.