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Fuel subsidy: Farouk Lawan sentenced to 7 years In prison over $500,000 bribe

Fuel subsidy: Farouk Lawan sentenced to 7 years In prison over $500,000 bribe

Former federal lawmaker, Farouk Lawan, has been convicted by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Apo, Abuja, for his role in the investigation of fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.

Farouk Lawan

Lawan was the chairman of the defunct House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the malfeasance and sleaze that the fuel subsidy regime was steeped in during the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

During hearing of the case on Tuesday, the trial Court in the country capital found Lawan guilty of all the three counts of bribery.

Angela Otaluka, the trial judge, delivered the judgment in a hours-long verdict on Tuesday.

Recall that the court has struck out Mr Lawan’s preliminary objection against the trial that is now in its nine years.

The former lawmaker is being prosecuted on charges of or receiving a bribe of $500,000 from Femi Otedola, a billionaire oil magnate.

Femi Otedola

The money was part of the $3milllion Lawan demanded to let the businessman’s firms off the hook by removing them from list of companies fingered in fuel subsidy fraud.

The judge averred in the course of delivering the judgment that Lawan’s conduct and action borders on corruption.

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While evaluating evidence in her judgement on Tuesday, the trial judge, Ms Otaluka, noted that from the deluge of evidence before the court, the prosecuting lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo, had established a case of corrupt practices against the defendant in Count One of the charge that borders on corruptly requesting a bribe of three million dollars.

“Count One of the charges is not based on suspicion but on credible evidence. The defendant (Mr Lawan) corruptly asked for $3million and received a $500,000 bribe in two tranches from Femi Otedola.

“The conduct of the defendant established the ingredients of corruption for which he was charged to court, as he did not report any case of inducement to any law enforcement agency,” the judge says.

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