The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upheld the five-year jail sentence of Farouk Lawan, a former member of the House of Representatives. Lawan was convicted and sentenced in 2021 for accepting a $500,000 bribe from Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.
In a unanimous judgment delivered on January 26, 2024, the five-member panel of the Supreme Court affirmed the 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal. This appellate court had upheld Lawan’s sentencing to five years in prison on count three of the three-count charge against him, which was originally tried at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Justice John Okoro prepared the lead judgment, which was read by Justice Tijjani Abubakar. The apex court found that Lawan’s appeal was without merit and proceeded to dismiss it. This decision marks a significant step in Nigeria’s legal system, emphasizing the judiciary’s commitment to combating corruption among high-ranking officials.