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Court acquits former SGF Babachir Lawal of ₦‎544million contract fraud

By Dennis Erezi
18 November 2022   |   1:07 pm
A Federal Capital Territory High Court has discharged and acquitted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and five others from an alleged ₦‎544M contract fraud offence. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted Lawal alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies over the…

Babachir Lawal

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has discharged and acquitted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and five others from an alleged ₦‎544M contract fraud offence.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecuted Lawal alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies over the contract fraud.

They faced a 10-count charge bordering on fraud relating to removing evasive plant species to the tune of N544 million for which they pleaded not guilty.

Judge Justice Charles Agbaza held that the EFCC said that no ingredients of any offence were made out by the 11 witnesses that testified for the EFCC.

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

The court held that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a case against the Ex-SGF and the co-defendants.

The judge held that EFCC 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.

The judge discharged and acquitted all the defendants in the 10-count criminal charges against them for want of evidence to link them with the purported offences.

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