The nation’s apex anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is to appeal the ruling of Justice Charles Agbaza of the Federal Capital. Territory High Court Abuja, which today dismissed the 10-count charge of corruption brought against a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal.
Lawal, his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar and Apeh John Monday are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant) on amended 10-count charge, bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N544million.
One of the charges read, “That you, Engineer Babachir David Lawal, while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 22nd August 2016 at Abuja, in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technological Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.99 (Two Hundred and Fifty-eight Million, One hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-five Naira, Ninety-nine kobo) only, by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) though the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
In the course of trial, the EFCC called 11 witnesses to prove its case against the defendants.
However, ruling on the no case submission made by the defendants today, Justice Agbaza held that the Commission failed to establish the ingredients of the alleged offence
The EFCC is dissatisfied with the ruling and will review and challenge its validity at the appellate court, the commission reports