Court rejects EFCC’s uncertified documents in Babachir Lawal’s trial

Babachir Lawal

An FCT High Court in Maitama has rejected uncertified documents sought to be tendered by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in the trial of ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal.

Justice Jude Okeke on Monday ruled on the admissibility of the documents.

He said that although the prosecutor attached the uncertified documents into the bundle of original documents, “it is the duty of the court to examine them to know whether there are admissible. ”

Okeke said the documents bore different dates and were numbered as different exhibits.

“The mere act that there are stapled together does not make them one document,” he said.

The judge added that for a public document to be admissible it must accord with the provision of section 104 of Evidence Act, 2011.

Ultimately, he admitted seven original documents and rejected 10 uncertified ones.

Okeke adjourned until June 18 for continuation of trial.

EFCC had arraigned Mr Lawal, his brother Hamidu, a director of Rholavision Engineering Limited; an employee of the company, Sulaiman Abubakar, and the Managing Director of Josmon Technologies Limited, Apeh Monday.

The commission charged them with 10 counts bordering on conspiracy and fraud.

Two companies were also joined in the suit: Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited.

The EFCC accused the former SGF of benefiting illegally from the approval of N544,119,925.36, for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation.

They alleged that Lawal being the SGF and Hamidu Lawal, director of Rholavision Engineering Limited and Abubakar, staff, about March 7, 2016 at Abuja, conspired to commit the offence.

The defendants have denied all the charges.