The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday, ruled on the reduction of the jail term of a former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, to five years
Lawan was convicted by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on June 22, 2021.
This was on a three-count charge of soliciting bribes, after soliciting and accepting a $500,000 bribe from a businessman, Femi Otedola.
Consequently, Lawan was sentenced to seven years on count one; seven years on count two, and five years on count three by Justice Angela Otaluka of the High Court of the FCT.
But in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, led by the court’s President, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, quashed Lawan’s conviction on counts one and two.
Furthermore, the court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove both counts relating to demanding for and agreeing to accept a $3 million bribe from Otedola.
The appellate court found that the prosecution was only able to prove the third count relating to the acceptance of a $500,000 bribe.
In the final ruling, the court acquitted Lawan on counts one and two (on which he was sentenced to seven years per count), but convicted him on count three (on which he was sentenced to five years).
More details later….
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