Court Sentences Lawan To Seven Years In Prison
Farouk Lawan, the former Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on Petroleum Subsidy, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
During his trial on Tuesday, Lawan was found guilty of counts one, two, and three for corruptly requesting and receiving information from Femi Otedola in order to exonerate Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited from the fuel subsidy scheme.
Count one stated that the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime corruptly requested a bribe of $3 million from Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, in exchange for removing his company’s name from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.
The presiding judge, Justice Angela Otaluka, stated that the prosecution counsel’s evidence listed and submitted before the court remains unshaken during cross-examination.
The judge further stated that the defendant’s and witnesses’ actions, answers, and submissions in this case prove the charge in the count.
According to count two, the defendant was paid $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zelon Petroleum and Gas from the fuel subsidy investigation report.
After receiving the first and second tranches of payment, the defendant demanded a balance of payment, and no complaint was made to any security or anti-corruption agencies as of the early hours of April 24, 2012, when the accused received the second tranche, as he claims he accepted the money to show as evidence before the house.
The judge further stated that the defendant failed to persuade the court that his acceptance of the payment was intended to serve as proof before the House Committee that the Chairman of Zelon Petroleum wanted to bribe the committee investigating the case.
Lawan was sentenced to seven years in prison for counts one and two, and five years in prison for count three.
The sentences must be read in order.
The defendant was also ordered to refund $500,000 to the federal government by the court.