It was an unexpected end for Farouk Lawan on Tuesday when he appeared before Justice Angela Otaluka of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Lawan, a former chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy, was accused of soliciting a $3 million bribe from Femi Otedola while probing the multi-billion naira fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.
The bribe was to remove Otedola’s then company Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the scam.
Although the former lawmaker had been walking freely while awaiting the court to determine his fate in the bribery charges filed against him, he is expected to spend the night in jail after he was found guilty of the counts.
In the first count, he was said to have corruptly asked Otedola for a bribe of $3 million as an inducement to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.
Count two also stated that Lawn collected the sum of $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zelon Petroleum and Gas from the fuel subsidy probe report.
Following a long journey to justice for Lawan who has been standing trial since 2013, Justice Otaluka finally sentenced him to seven years in prison.
He was found guilty of counts one, two, and three which bothered on corruptly asking for bribe and obtaining same from Otedola.
The presiding judge stated that the evidence listed and submitted before the court by the prosecution counsel remained unshaken during cross-examination.
She added that the conduct, responses, and submissions of the defendant and witnesses established the charge in the first count, while the defendant demanded a balance after receiving the first and second tranche of the payment.