Supreme Court Affirms Five-Year Jail Term for Former Rep, Farouk Lawan for Demanding $500k Bride from Otedola

Supreme Court Affirms Five-Year Jail Term for Former Rep, Farouk Lawan for Demanding $500k Bride from Otedola

The Supreme Court has upheld the five-year prison sentence imposed on former House of Representatives member Farouk Lawan, as previously determined by the Court of Appeal.

Lawan’s conviction, stemming from soliciting a bribe from billionaire businessman Femi Otedola during the 2012 fuel subsidy probe, was affirmed by the apex court on Friday.

Background and Initial Conviction:

Farouk Lawan, who served as the chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the multi-billion naira petrol subsidy under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, faced allegations of soliciting a $3 million bribe from Femi Otedola.

The accusations arose during the fuel subsidy probe, revealing a demand to delist Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Otedola’s company, from the scrutinized entities.

Lawan was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison on January 22, 2021.

Allegations and Key Figures:

During the investigation, Otedola accused Lawan of demanding the bribe to influence the committee’s decisions.

The high-profile case involved substantial scrutiny of Lawan’s actions as a public official and Otedola’s assertions regarding the solicitation of funds to sway the probe outcomes.

Supreme Court Verdict:

On Friday, January 26, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Lawan’s appeal, affirming the verdict reached by the Court of Appeal.

The lead judgment, prepared by Justice John Okoro but delivered by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, deemed Lawan’s appeal without merit and consequently dismissed it.

Legal Ramifications and Finality:

The Supreme Court’s affirmation of the five-year jail term solidifies the legal consequences for Farouk Lawan.

The decision reflects the judiciary’s stance on maintaining accountability, particularly in cases involving corruption within the corridors of power.

The finality of this ruling underscores the gravity of Lawan’s actions and emphasizes the legal repercussions for public officials engaging in corrupt practices.