The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Thursday, affirmed the high court judgement that convicted former Chairman of then House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy probe, Mr. Farouk Lawan, for bribery.
However, the appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices, reduced Lawan’s jail term from seven to five years, after it discharged and acquitted him of two of the three charges that led to his conviction.
Trial Justice Angela Otaluka found the four-term lawmaker for Bagwai/Shanono Federal Constituency of Kano State guilty of demanding an aggregate sum of $3 million from Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, Chief Femi Otedola, to give his company a clean bill of health in the fuel subsidy probe the House of Reps initiated in 2012.
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Meanwhile, in its verdict, yesterday, the panel, led by the Court of Appeal President, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, held that the totality of evidence the prosecution adduced in the matter was not sufficient to prove that the former lawmaker demanded and agreed to accept $3 million from Otedola.
The appellate court, however, upheld the case of the prosecution that Lawan, indeed, received $500,000 from the oil mogul.
While it dismissed the first two counts in the charge, the appellate court sustained the last count in the charge which attracts a maximum of five years imprisonment upon conviction.
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