Grass-cutting scandal: EFCC re-arraigns ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal and three others

Grass-cutting scandal: EFCC re-arraigns ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal and three others

Grass-cutting scandal: EFCC re-arraigns ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal and three others

EFCC has re-arraigned a former Secretary to the Authorities of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal and three others earlier than Justice Jude Okeke of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT Excessive Court docket, Maitama.

Lawal alongside together with his youthful brother, Hamidu David Lawal, one Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday and two corporations, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Applied sciences Ltd, have been re-arraigned on an amended 10-count cost bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and legal conspiracy to the tune of over N500 million.

They have been earlier arraigned earlier than Justice Okeke on February 13, 2019 and the prosecution was meant to open its case at this time, March 18, 2019. On the resumed listening to, counsel for the EFCC, Offem Uket informed the court docket that the costs towards them had been amended, and that they needed to take a recent plea.

Nevertheless, citing Part 218 (2) of the Administration of Prison Justice Act, ACJA 2015, Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel for Lawal, argued that “earlier than the cost is taken, the prosecution should have filed the amended cost to make sure that it was correctly endorsed”.

Different defence counsels aligned themselves with the submission of Olujimi. Justice Okeke, whereas ordering the prosecution to adjust to the part cited by Olujimi, nonetheless, dominated that within the interim, the amended costs be learn to the defendants.

One of many counts reads: “That you just, Engineer Babachir David Lawal, whereas being the Secretary to the Authorities of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or concerning the 22nd August 2016 at Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Excessive Court docket of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly maintain not directly personal curiosity within the contract awarded to Josmon Technological Ltd however executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the elimination of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.99 (Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, 100 and Thirty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty 5 Naira solely) by the workplace of the Secretary to the Authorities of the Federation (OSGF) although the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby dedicated an offence punishable beneath Part 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Different Associated Offences Act, 2000.”

They pleaded “not responsible” to the amended costs. The defence group, thereafter, prayed the court docket to permit the defendants to proceed with the bail earlier granted them by the court docket.

The request of the defence was granted by Justice Okeke, who adjourned to April 11, 2019 for “graduation of trial”, noting that, “the court docket is minded to grant an adjournment because of the modification of the costs.”

It is going to be recalled that the Court docket had earlier granted the defendants bail within the sum of N50 million (Fifty Million Naira), with one surety in like sum, who should be resident inside the jurisdiction of the court docket, and should be proprietor of a landed property inside the jurisdiction of the court docket, with proof of three years tax cost. The worldwide passports of the defendants have been additionally ordered to be deposited with the court docket.

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