N544m Fraud: Court discharges, acquits Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has discharged and acquitted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal and five others from the N544M Contract Fraud offence brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Court stated that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a case against the Ex-SGF and the co-defendants.

Ruling on a no-case submission made by Babachir Lawal, Justice Charles Agbaza held that the EFCC said that no ingredients of any offence was made out by the 11 witnesses that testified for the EFCC.

The judge held that EFCC did not establish that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the Presidential Initiative for North East that awarded the contract, or a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board that vetted and gave approval to the disputed contract.

Besides, Justice Agbaza held that EFCC also failed to link Babachir Lawal with the Bureau of Public Procurement BPP that issued a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was awarded.

The judge discharged and acquitted all the defendants in the 10-count criminal charges against them for want of evidence to link them with the purported offences.

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