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Court acquits Babachir Lawal of N544m fraud

Court acquits Babachir Lawal of N544m ?grass cutting? fraud

Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Federation Government (SGF) and five others have been acquitted of contract fraud offense N544M brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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

Judge Charles Agbaza of the Federal High Court in Abuja, who delivered the decision on Friday, November 18, found that the anti-corruption agency had failed to build a case against the ex-SGF and the co-defendants.

Agbaza, who also pointed out that no element of any offense had been established by the 11 witnesses who testified for the EFCC, added that the anti-corruption agency had not established that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the President’s Northeast Initiative who awarded the contract, or a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board who reviewed and approved the disputed contract.

Judge Agbaza found that the EFCC also failed to establish a link between Babachir Lawal and the BPP Procurement Office which had issued a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was awarded.

The judge then released and acquitted all the defendants of the 10 charges against them, for lack of evidence to link them to the alleged offences.

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