An Abuja High Court sitting in Apo yesterday sentenced a former Chairman of the House of Reps probe panel on fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan to seven years imprisonment. The trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka found him guilty of demanding a bribe of $3million and receiving $500,000. The court found the former Representative guilty in the three-count charge brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) against him. Justice Otaluka sentenced the convict to seven years in prison on counts one and two of the charge respectively and five years on count three. The sentence is, however, to run concurrently.
Lawan, who was the Chairman of House Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Regime in 2012, was dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), on behalf of the Federal Government. The former lawmaker, a four-term member of the House of Representatives, who represented Bagwai/Shanono Federal Constituency of Kano State between 1999 and 2015, in the case marked FCT/HR/ CR/76/13, was alleged to have demanded the sum of $3million for himself from the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola.
He was alleged to have collected $620,000 out of the amount with a view to removing Otedola’s companies’ names from the list of firms indicted by the ad hoc committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012. The court also ordered the convict to make restitution of the sum of $500,000 he collected from Otedola to the coffers of the Federal Government.