EFCC to appeal court ruling absolving ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal, others of N544m contract fraud

November 18, 2022
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has indicated plans to appeal the ruling of Justice Charles Agbaza of the federal high court, Abuja, following the dismissal of a 10-count charge of corruption brought against a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal.

Lawal and five others, on Friday, November 18, were discharged and acquitted from the N544 million contract fraud offence brought against them by EFCC, Channels TV reports.

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

The EFCC’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, while speaking on the development, said that the anti-graft agency was unsatisfied with the ruling.

Uwujaren said that, “The EFCC has given indication that it will obtain a copy of the judgment for urgent review and challenge its validity at the appellate court.”

Ruling on the no case submission made by the defendants, Justice Agbaza held that the commission, which presented 11 witnesses in the course of the trial, failed to establish the ingredients of the alleged offence.

The judge also held that the commission did not establish that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) that awarded the contract or a member of the ministerial tenders board that vetted and gave approval to the disputed contract.

Lawal, his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, and Apeh John Monday, were prosecuted alongside two companies, Rholavision Engineering and Josmon Technologies, on an amended 10-count charge, bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N544 million.

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