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$3million bribe: Farouk Lawan bags 7 years in prison

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A federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Apo, Abuja, has sentenced the former chairman of the federal house of representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy, Farouk Lawan, to seven years imprisonment over the $3 million bribery charges preferred against him by the federal government.

Lawan was the chairman of the house of representatives ad hoc committee probing the multi-billion naira fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.

He was accused of demanding $3 million from Billionaire Femi Otedola to remove Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited (Otedola’s company) from the list of oil companies allegedly involved in the fuel subsidy fraud in 2012.

Lawan, who was arraigned on seven counts of bribery by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), was alleged to have collected $500,000 bribe from Otedola.

The charge was later amended to three counts.

The oil billionaire, Femi Otedola, has alleged the lawmaker demanded the $3m bribe in order to have his company, Zenon, removed from a list of those involved in the scandal.

Part of that money was handed over and a video recording of the transaction was given to police, he said.

“You Farouk Lawan… in the course of your official duty corruptly asked for the sum of $3m for yourself from Femi Otedola… to afterwards show favour to Femi Otedola,” Reuters news agency quotes the charges read out in the Abuja High Court.

Another member of Mr Lawan’s parliamentary fuel subsidy committee, Emenalo Boniface, was also charged in court on Friday with corruption for accepting $120,000 of the $3m bribe from Mr Otedola.

Mr Lawan has said he accepted the money in order to expose blackmail and informed the committee and the anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), about it.

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