Supreme Court has upheld the five-year sentence of former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, for receiving a bribe of $500,000 from businessman Femi Otedola.
The former lawmaker had approached the apex court to set aside the judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal in Abuja on February 24, 2022, which sentenced him to a five-year jail term and discharged him on two out of the three counts on the corruption charge brought against him by the Federal Government.
In the lead judgment prepared by Justice John Okoro but read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, the apex court held that Lawan’s appeal was without merit and dismissed it.
The five-member panel unanimously 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.
Lawan who was the then chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee probing the multi-billion naira petrol subsidy fraud in 2012, was convicted after he was accused of demanding $3 million from Femi Otedola to remove Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Otedola’s former company) from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the petrol subsidy fraud in 2012.
Months after being convicted by a Federal High court and handed a seven-year jail sentence, the court of appeal discharged and acquitted the former lawmaker on two out of the three counts on which he was convicted. His jail sentence was thereafter reduced to five years.