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‘N544m fraud’: EFCC to appeal court ruling dismissing case against Babachir Lawal

‘N544m fraud’: EFCC to appeal court ruling dismissing case against Babachir Lawal
November 18
21:15 2022

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the court judgment dismissing a case of alleged fraud against Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

The commission had re-arraigned Lawal alongside Hamidu David Lawal, his younger brother; Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, and two companies — Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd — on a 10 count-charge bordering on alleged diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption to the tune of N544 million.

On Friday, a high court in the federal capital territory (FCT) discharged and acquitted the former SGF over the allegations.

Charles Agbaza, the presiding judge, said the EFCC failed to prove links between the defendants and the corruption charges.

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He added that no ingredient of any offence was made out by the 11 witnesses presented by the prosecution.

Reacting to the judgment in a statement on Friday, the EFCC said it would appeal the ruling of the court.

“Ruling on the no case submission made by the defendants today, 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 statement reads.

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“He 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.

“But dissatisfied with the ruling, 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.”

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