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Supreme Court Sets Date For Farouk Lawan’s Appeal Judgment Amid Health Concerns

Daud Olatunji

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has scheduled January 26, 2024, as the date for the judgment in the appeal filed by former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan. 

Mr. Lawan, who is currently serving a jail sentence, seeks to overturn the February 24, 2022, verdict of the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

The case, presided over by a five-member panel headed by Justice John Okoro, concluded its proceedings after lawyers for both parties presented their final arguments and adopted their written briefs.

Farouk Lawan’s appeal centers on his conviction on a three-count charge of soliciting a bribe, agreeing to accept a bribe, and receiving a $500,000 bribe from businessman Femi Otedola. 

The Court of Appeal had sentenced him to a five-year prison term while acquitting him of two of the three counts.

During the proceedings, Lawan’s counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Joseph Daudu, expressed concern about his client’s health, stating that Lawan was in stage three of prostate cancer. 

Daudu emphasized that if the condition progressed to stage four, there would be no assurance of his client’s survival. 

Initially, Daudu had filed a motion for bail, pending the appeal’s determination, but the Supreme Court opted to prioritize the main appeal.

In response, Bagudu Sanni, representing the Federal Government, called on the court to uphold the Court of Appeal’s judgment and reject Lawan’s appeal.

Daudu further argued that if the Court of Appeal had acquitted Lawan on counts one and two, which carried a maximum sentence of seven years, the Supreme Court should similarly dismiss the charges on the third count, given its similarities.

This case has drawn significant public attention due to its implications for high-profile corruption cases in Nigeria and the pressing health concerns raised by the defense. 

Farouk Lawan’s appeal has taken a central position in the country’s legal landscape, with many eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court’s judgment on January 26, 2024.

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