Supreme Court affirms jail term of ex-lawmaker ‘Mr Integrity’, Lawan, on $500k bribe case

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A former House of Representatives member Farouk Lawan received a final blow to his appeals on Friday, as the Supreme Court upheld his seven-year jail term for a $500,000 bribery scandal.

This decision by the highest court in the land leaves Lawan’s conviction for corruption unchallenged, marking a significant moment in the fight against graft in Nigeria.

Lawan, once labeled as ‘Mr Integrity’ was entrusted with spearheading the investigation into the 2012 fuel subsidy fraud, was instead found guilty of abusing his powers by demanding $3 million bribe and pocketing $500,000 from businessman Femi Otedola.

This act, as documented by a Federal Capital Territory High Court, led to Lawan’s initial sentencing in 2013.

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The trial judge, Angela Otaluka, held that Lawan demanded $3m and received $500,000 from Femi Otedola in 2012 to remove Otedola’s oil company, Zenon Oil and Gas, from the list of firms indicted for fraud in the fuel subsidy regime.

She also held that Lawan was guilty of all three counts of corruption and bribery.

Not satisfied, Lawan approached the appellate court where his jail term was reduced from seven to five years.

Reading the lead judgment on Friday, Justice Tijani Abubakar upheld the decision of the appeal court and dismissed the appeal.

The Supreme Court‘s verdict confirms the findings of the lower courts, leaving Lawan with no further legal recourse.

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