- The high court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has finally delivered the verdict on the bribery suit involving Farouk Lawan
- Lawan who was exposed for collecting bribe from Nigerian business mogul Otedola was handed a seven-year jail term
- However, Otedola allegedly recorded the lawmaker while giving the bribe and the video evidence was eventually tendered in court
FCT, Abuja - Farouk Lawan, a former chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Petroleum Subsidy, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Channels TV reported the high court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) gave the verdict on Tuesday, June 22.
Legit.ng gathers that Lawan was found guilty of count one, two, and three bothering on corruptly asking for and obtaining a $500,000 bribe from Femi Otedola, in order to exonerate Zelon Petroleum and Gas Limited from the list of companies in the fuel subsidy scam.
For counts one and two, the court sentenced the former lawmaker was sentenced to seven years while for count three he was given five years.
However, the sentences are to run concurrently. The court also ordered that Lawan return the $500,000 to the federal government.
Lawan represented Bagwai/Shanono Federal Constituency of Kano state, Farouk Lawan while in office.
According to Daily Nigerian, Lawan was arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC)
Lawan was at the time the House Chairman of the ad-hoc committee investigating the fraud around the oil subsidy regime in 2012.
The committee found Zenon Petroleum and Gas Company, an oil company belonging to Otedola, culpable of defrauding the federal government via spurious subsidy claims.
However, he allegedly demanded a $3 million bribe from Otedola to remove his firms from the list of companies indicted the fraud.
Otedola allegedly videoed the lawmaker while receiving the said bribe.
In his defence, Lawan's lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, told the court that the ICPC had failed to properly establish the defendant’s intent to commit the offence he was charged with.
He also said the video evidence was blurry and does not necessarily prove that the content of the envelope Otedola gave to Lawan was money but could have been anything else.
Why we haven't arrested Tinubu, EFCC reveals
In other news, Abdulrasheed Bawa, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is under investigation.
Bawa made this known in an exclusive interview published by ThisDay on Sunday, June 20, adding that an investigation does not end in a day.
The EFCC boss reportedly requested for the asset declaration form of the former governor of Lagos when he was the head of the Lagos Zonal office.
APC chieftain Orji Kalu to face prosecution again
Similarly, Bawa has vowed that the commission will prosecute a former Abia state governor, Orji Kalu, all over again.
Kalu, who is now a serving senator, was set free by the Supreme Court on technicalities after being convicted of stealing billions of naira when he was Abia state governor between 1999-2007.
Without addressing the substance of the case, the Supreme Court ruled that the trial judge that found him guilty had been elevated to the appeal court and should not have ruled on the matter. However, Bawa stated that EFCC is determined to continue prosecuting cases no matter how long it takes.