Former Chairman of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Petroleum Subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan has reportedly been sentenced to seven years imprisonment at a High Court in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
During the trial on Tuesday, the Honourable was found guilty of count one, two, and three bothering on corruptly demanding and extorting same from Femi Otedola for his company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited to be exonerated from the list of companies in the fuel subsidy fraud.
According to reports, count one stated Lawan corruptly requested from the Chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola, a bribe of $3 million as a bribe to remove the name of his company from the report of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on monitoring of fuel subsidy regime.
The presiding judge, Justice Angela Otaluka, affirmed that the prosecution counsel’s evidence listed and submitted before the court remains intact during cross-examination.
She also noted that the conduct, responses, and submissions of the defendant and witnesses, in this case, establish the charge in the count.
Count two stated that the defendant collected the sum of $500,000 as a bribe to exonerate Zenon petroleum and gas from the fuel subsidy probe report.
The Judge added that the defendant demanded a balance of payment, after receiving the first and second tranche of the payment, and as at the early hours of 24th April 2012 when the accused received the second tranche, no complaint was made to any security agency or anti-corruption agencies, as he claims he accepted the money to show as evidence before the house.
She further noted that Lawan has failed to convince the court that his acceptance of the said bribe was to serve as evidence before the House Committee that Otedola wants to bribe the Committee involved in the probe.
For count one and two the court sentenced Lawan to seven years while for count three he was sentenced to five years.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
He was also ordered to return the sum of $500,000 to the Federal Government.