BREAKING: Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal Not Guilty Of N544M Contract Fraud – Court
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT on Friday declared a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal not guilty of the N544m contract fraud charge for which he has been facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court on Friday held that the anti-graft agency failed woefully to establish a prima facie case against the Ex-SGF.
In a ruling on no case submission made by Babachir Lawal, Justice Charles Agbaza held that 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 (PINE) 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 Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) that issued a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was awarded.
Consequently, the judge discharged and aqcuitted all the defendants in the 10-count criminal charges against them for want of evidence to link them with the purported offences.
Babachir Lawal alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited were prosecuted by the EFCC before Justice Charles Agbaza.
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They faced a 10-count charge bordering on fraud relating to the removal of evasive plant species to the tune of N544 million for which they pleaded not guilty.
The EFCC had on Monday, November 30, 2020 re-arraigned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal before Justice Agbaza.
One of the charges 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 on or about the 22nd August 2016 at Abuja, in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technological Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.99 (Two Hundred and Fifty-eight Million, One hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-five Naira, Ninety-nine kobo) only, by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) though 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.”
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Breaking: Appeal Court Retains Adeleke As Osun Governor
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has vacated the tribunal judgement that nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, on Friday held that the appeal Adeleke lodged to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, was meritorious.
Aside from setting aside the judgement of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500, 000 cost against the All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola
BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
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