HomeCourt room newsSupreme Court Fixes Jan 26 for Judgment on Farouk Lawan’s Appeal

Supreme Court Fixes Jan 26 for Judgment on Farouk Lawan’s Appeal

Date:

The Supreme Court has fixed January 26, 2024, for judgment in the appeal by a former member of the House of Representatives Farouk Lawan who is presently in jail.

A five-member panel led by Justice John Okoro chose the date after lawyers to parties made their final submissions and adopted their written briefs.

Lawan’s appeal is seeking to set aside the February 24, 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sentenced him to a five-year jail term and discharged him on two out of the three counts on the corruption charge brought against him by the Federal Government.

Although it was his motion for bail, pending the determination of his appeal, that was listed for hearing, the court elected to take the main appeal rather than dissipating energy on the interlocutory application when the appeal was, on its own, ripe for hearing.

While urging the court to first take the bail application, his Counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joseph Daudu, said his client’s health was threatened.

Daudu says Lawan has stage three prostrate cancer, noting that if it gets to stage four, there is no assurance that he will remain alive.

But, on realising that the court was unwilling to walk back on its position, Daudu applied to withdraw the application for bail following which the main appeal was taken.

He urged the court to allow his client’s appeal and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

While adumbrating, Daudu noted that the Court of Appeal discharged on counts one and two, which attracted a maximum of seven years.

Daudu argued that if the Court of Appeal could discharge his client on the two counts, which he claimed, have the same ingredients as the third count, the Supreme Court should equally let off the hook in relation to the third count.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Bagudu Sanni, urged the court to affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal and dismiss the appeal.

The Court of Appeal had, in its judgment, reduced Lawan’s initial maximum jail term from seven 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 a bribe, agreeing to accept a bribe, and actually accepting a $500,000 bribe from businessman, Femi Otedola.

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