Court discharges, acquits Babachir Lawal of N544m fraud

Babachir Lawal

An FCT High Court on Friday discharged and aqcuitted a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal and five others of the N544 million contract fraud allegations brought against them.

Justice Charles Agbaza ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to establish a case against Lawal and the co-defendants.

Ruling on a no-case submission made by Lawal, Justice Agbaza held that the EFCC did not establish that 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.

The court also held that EFCC failed to link Lawal with the Bureau of Public Procurement 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.

The EFCC had arraigned Lawal, his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies.

They faced a 10-count charge bordering on fraud relating to the removal of evasive plant species to the tune of N544 million.