1 December 2020 By Victoria Abah
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has re-arraigned a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, before an Abuja High Court at Maitama, over his alleged complicity in grass cutting contract fraud to the tune of about N554million.
Lawal, who served as SGF between August 27, 2015 and October 30, 2017, entered a fresh plea of not guilty to an amended 10-count charge the EFCC preferred against him and six others.
Other Defendants are, younger brother to the former SGF, Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies.
The ex-SGF was amongst other things, alleged to have connived with the other Defendants to illegally divert a contract the Presidential Initiative for North East, PINE, awarded for the removal of grasses in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps to his own company.
The Defendants who pleaded innocence to the amended charge that was read to them before the trial judge, Charles Agbaza, prayed the court to retain the bail conditions it earlier handed to them.
Following the demise of the former trial judge in the matter, Justice Jude Okeke, the case-file was re-assigned to Justice Agbaza for the trial to commence afresh.
Justice Agbaza slated January 20, 2021, to restart the trial.