A sentence given to former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan over a crime he committed has been reduced.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday reduced the sentence to five years Lawan was convicted by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on June 22, 2021, on a three-count charge of soliciting bribes, agreeing to accept bribes and actually accepting a $500,000 bribe from a businessman, Femi Otedola. The High Court of the FCT, in a judgment by Justice Angela Otaluka, sentenced Lawan to seven years on count one; seven years on count two, and five years on count three. 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. The court held 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 his accepting bribe of $500,000. The court then 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). The judgment was on an appeal by Lawan.