The case of Farouk Lawan, a former member of the House of Representatives, dates back to 2012, when he was the chairman of a House committee investigating a fuel subsidy scam. He was caught on camera collecting $500,000 from Femi Otedola, a businessman whose companies were among those indicted by the committee.
Lawan was arrested and charged with three counts of corruption by the Federal Government. He pleaded not guilty and claimed he was entrapped by Otedola.
However, on June 22, 2021, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in APO convicted him on one count of accepting a bribe and sentenced him to seven years in prison. The court discharged him on the other two counts of soliciting and agreeing to accept a bribe.
Lawan appealed the judgment at the Court of Appeal, which reduced his sentence to five years on February 24, 2022. The appellate court upheld his conviction and dismissed his argument that the trial court erred in law and fact.
Lawan further appealed to the Supreme Court, which dismissed his appeal for lacking merit on January 27, 2024. The apex court affirmed the verdict of the lower courts and said Lawan failed to prove his innocence.
Justice John Okoro prepared the lead judgment of the Supreme Court, while Justice Tijjani Abubakar read it on his behalf.