EFCC Arraigns Former SGF, Babachir

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, arraigned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr Babachir Lawal before a Federal High Court in Abuja over his use of a company said to be owned by him to remove what he had described as ‘invasive grass” at the cost of over N272million.
At the arraignment, Babachir Lawal, pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
When the charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty while his counsel applied for bail.
Lawal was docked before an FCT High Court presided over by Justice Okeke.
Shortly after he pleaded not guilty, the Federal High Court ordered that former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, be remanded in EFCC custody.
Lawal is to be kept in EFCC custody, pending the ruling of the court on his bail application on February 13.
The Federal Government had earlier on January 30, filed 10 charges bordering on alleged conspiracy and fraudulent acquisition of property.
It would be recalled that President Muhammad Buhari, had on October, 2017, suspended Lawal over the allegation.
This was after a panel, headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, had submitted its report after investigating the alleged fraud and indicting the former SGF.
The charges were entered against Babachir and five others on January 30, 2019.
Some of the charges in the suit marked CR/158/19, 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, Hamidu David Lawal being a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, Sulaiman Abubakar being a staff of Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 7th of March, 2016, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did conspire to commit an offence to wit: fraudulent acquisition of property and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act.
“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 7th of March, 2016, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the consultancy contract awarded to Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N7, 009,515.96 by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through 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.