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Supreme Court sets date to deliver judgment on imprisoned lawmaker’s appeal

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Supreme Court sets date to deliver judgment on imprisoned lawmaker’s appeal

The Supreme Court has scheduled January 26, 2024, as the date for the judgment in the appeal of Farouk Lawan, a former member of the House of Representatives who is currently incarcerated.

A panel of five judges, led by Justice John Okoro, decided on the date after both parties’ lawyers presented their final submissions and adopted their written briefs.

Lawan’s appeal aims to overturn the February 24, 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which sentenced him to a five-year prison term and acquitted him on two out of the three counts of corruption brought against him by the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Court sentences ex-Reps member, Farouk Lawan to 7 years imprisonment over bribery (Video)

Although the court initially listed his motion for bail to be heard, it chose to proceed with the main appeal, as it was already ripe for hearing instead of expending energy on the interlocutory application.

Lawan’s Counsel, Joseph Daudu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, urged the court to first address the bail application, citing his client’s deteriorating health. Daudu revealed that Lawan is in stage three prostate cancer, expressing concern that if it advances to stage four, his client’s life may be at risk.

However, upon realizing the court’s reluctance to change its position, Daudu applied to withdraw the bail application, after which the main appeal was considered.

Daudu implored the court to allow Lawan’s appeal and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal. He argued that since the Court of Appeal discharged his client on two counts that have the same elements as the third count, the Supreme Court should also dismiss the third count.

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

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal had already reduced Lawan’s initial maximum jail term from seven to five years.

Lawan was convicted by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on June 22, 2021, on charges of soliciting a bribe, agreeing to accept a bribe, and actually accepting a $500,000 bribe from businessman Femi Otedola.

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