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$500,000 bribe : Supreme Court upholds 5-year jail term for Farouk Lawan

$500,000 bribe : Supreme Court upholds 5-year jail term for Farouk Lawan

The Supreme Court today delivered a blow to the hopes of a former lawmaker, Farouk Lawan, by dismissing his appeal against a five-year jail term for bribery.

Lawan, who served as chairman of a House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating fuel subsidy fraud in 2012, was found guilty in 2021 of demanding and accepting a $500,000 bribe from businessman Femi Otedola.

The initial seven-year sentence handed down by a Federal Capital Territory High Court was reduced to five years on appeal. However, Lawan pressed his case further, seeking to overturn the conviction altogether.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court, led by Justice Tijani Abubakar, saw no merit in Lawan’s arguments and upheld the lower court’s ruling. This brings to an end a nearly decade-long legal saga stemming from the fuel subsidy scandal that rocked Nigeria’s oil industry.

The court’s verdict underscored the prosecution’s successful demonstration that Lawan, tasked with uncovering corruption, had himself succumbed to it. Evidence presented at trial, including video recordings of the bribe transaction, proved instrumental in securing the conviction.