Anti-Corruption Group Commends Supreme Court’s Affirmation of Farouk Lawan’s Sentence

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Lawan was tried for receiving $500,000 bribe during a legislative probe into the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has commended the Supreme Court judgment affirming the jail term of former lawmaker, Farouk Lawan, saying it affirmed the fact that no one is bigger than the law or the widely publicised principle of equality before the law.

The Supreme Court of Nigeria had affirmed the judgement of a lower court that sentenced former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, to five years imprisonment for receiving a bribe of $500,000 from businessman, Femi Otedola.

Lawan was tried for receiving $500,000 bribe during a legislative probe into the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.

Sources reported on February 24, 2022, that the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division affirmed the conviction of Farouk Lawan, over the $3 million bribery charges preferred against him by the federal government.

Lawan was the chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee probing the multi-billion naira petrol subsidy fraud in 2012.

He was accused of demanding $3 million from Femi Otedola to remove Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Otedola’s former company) from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the petrol subsidy fraud in 2012.

Lawan, who was arraigned on seven counts of bribery by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), was alleged to have collected a $500,000 bribe from Otedola.

CACOL in a release signed by its Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of the organisation’s Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, noted that Supreme Court verdict on the case had shown that the judiciary could still be trusted as far as fighting corruption in the country is concerned.

The statement read in part; “We are elated to hear the Supreme Court verdict on this case, it has shown that the Judiciary can still be trusted as far as fighting corruption in the country is concerned. Although, it is one of the fundamental rights of the Ex-lawmaker Lawan to utilise all the available options of appeal and be granted fair hearing, we are happy to hear of the outcome of the case.

“The judiciary from the trial court, through the appeal to the Supreme Court has proven to Nigerians that it cannot be bought over and that justice is not for sale. The judgment has brought to fore the fact that no one is bigger than the law or the widely publicized principle of equality before the law.

“We hope other public office holders will learn from the outcome of this case and try as much as possible to be above board while in office. We also hope the good work performed by the anti-graft agencies in prosecuting the ex-lawmaker will not be truncated by granting him Presidential Amnesty thereby exonerating him of wrongdoing.

“We at CACOL therefore commend the judiciary for a job well done while still calling for judicial reforms that would facilitate speedy dispensation of justice especially as it concerned other high profile corruption cases that dotted various courts in the country.”

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