Farouk Lawan, Ex-Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy in Court

Court sentences ex-Nigerian Federal lawmaker to 7 years in prison over bribery

*An Abuja High Court has sentenced Farouk Lawan, ex-Chairman of the Nigerian House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy, to seven years in jail for corruptly demanding and obtaining $3million bribe to pervert the course of justice

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For corruptly demanding and obtaining $3million bribe from a businessman to pervert of the course of justice against Nigerians, a High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has sentenced Farouk Lawan, former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy, to seven years in jail.

The court during trial Tuesday, June 22, 2021, found Lawan guilty of count one, two, and three bordering on corruptly asking for and obtaining same from Mr. Femi Otedola, Channels TV report said.

The erstwhile Federal legislator was reported to have committed the act in order to delete Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Otedola’s company) from the list of indicted companies in the fuel subsidy scam during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the charge sheet, count one stated that the former Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime corruptly asked the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola, for a bribe of $3 million as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.

Justice Angela Otaluka, the presiding Judge, noted that the evidence listed and submitted before the court by the prosecution counsel, and pronounced that the conduct, responses, and submissions of the defendant and witnesses, in this case, established the charge in the count.

Count two stated that the defendant (Lawan) collected the sum of $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zelon petroleum and gas from the fuel subsidy probe report.

Justice Otaluka stated that the defendant as well demanded a balance of payment, after receiving the first and second tranche of the payment.

As of the early hours of April 24, 2012, when the accused received the second tranche, no complaint was made to any security agency or anti-corruption agencies, as he claims he accepted the money to show as evidence before the Committee in the House of Representatives.

The defendant, according to the Justice, also failed to convince the court that his acceptance of the said bribe was to serve as evidence before the House Committee that the Chairman of Zelon Petroleum wants to bribe the Committee involved in the probe.

For counts one and two, the court sentenced Lawan to seven years while for count three he was sentenced to five years.

The sentences are to run concurrently, while the court also ordered that the defendant return the sum of $500,000 to the Federal Government.

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