The Supreme Court has upheld the five-year prison sentence of former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, who was convicted for accepting a $500,000 bribe from businessman Femi Otedola.
Lawan’s appeal, aimed at overturning the February 24, 2022, judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sentenced him to five years in prison and acquitted him on two out of three counts, was deemed without merit by the apex court.
The lead judgment, prepared by Justice John Okoro and read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar, affirmed the earlier ruling and dismissed Lawan’s appeal.
The unanimous decision by the five-member panel solidified the 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal, which sustained Lawan’s five-year sentence concerning count three on the corruption charge he faced at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Originally convicted and sentenced in 2021, Lawan’s appeal at the Court of Appeal led to a reduction in his jail term from seven to five years.
The appellate court had overturned two of the three charges, leaving Lawan with a conviction for the third offense and a five-year prison term.
During the Supreme Court appeal, Lawan’s Counsel, Joseph Daudu, argued for setting aside the Court of Appeal’s judgment, emphasizing the discharge on counts one and two, which attracted a maximum of seven years.
Daudu contended that if Lawan was acquitted on two counts with similar elements as the third count, the Supreme Court should likewise dismiss the third count.
Contrarily, Counsel to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Bagudu Sanni, urged the Supreme Court to affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal and dismissed.
By Alexandra Dominic-Chukwu
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