Court acquits Babachir Lawal of N544m ‘grass cutting’ fraud


Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and five others have been discharged and acquitted from the N544M Contract Fraud offence brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Prior to the court ruling ruling, Lawal was standing criminal prosecution alongside Hamidu David Lawal, his younger brother; Sulaiman Abubakar; Apeh John Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd, and Josmon Technologies Ltd, over alleged money laundering.

Justice Charles Agbaza of the federal high court in Abuja who gave the ruling on Friday, November 18, held that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a case against the Ex-SGF and the co-defendants.

Agbaza who also pointed out that no ingredients of any offence was made out by the 11 witnesses that testified for the EFCC, added that the anti-graft agency did not establish that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the Presidential Initiative for North East that awarded the contract, or a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board that vetted and gave approval to the disputed contract.

Justice Agbaza held that EFCC also failed to link Babachir Lawal with the Bureau of Public Procurement BPP that issued a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was awarded.

The judge went on to discharge and acquit all the defendants of the 10-count criminal charges against them for want of evidence to link them with the purported offences.

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