A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has discharged and acquitted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and five others from the N544M Contract Fraud offences brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Court on Friday held that the anti-graft agency failed woefully to establish prima facie case against the ex-SGF and the co-defendants.
In a ruling on no case submission made by Babachir Lawal and others, Justice Charles Agbaza held that no ingredients of any offence was made out by the 11 witnesses that testified for the EFCC.
The trial Judge held that EFCC 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.
Justice Agbaza further held that EFCC also failed to link Babachir Lawal with Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, which issued a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was awarded.
Justice Charles Agbaza discharged and aqcuitted all the defendants in the 10-count criminal charges against them for “want of evidence to link them with the purported offences.”
Babachir Lawal alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited were prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Charles Agbaza.
They faced a 10-count charge bordering on fraud relating to the removal of evasive plant species to the tune of N544 million for which they pleaded not guilty.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had on Monday, November 30, 2020 re-arraigned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal before Justice Agbaza.