Alleged N544m Grass-cutting fraud: EFCC re-arraigns ex-SGF Babachir Lawal~NEWSEXTRA - NEWS EXTRA ONLINE

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Monday, 30 November 2020

Alleged N544m Grass-cutting fraud: EFCC re-arraigns ex-SGF Babachir Lawal~NEWSEXTRA




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday re-arraigned a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and six others on an amended 10 count charge, for the alleged fraudulent N544m grass cutting contract.

The re-arraignment, which was the second time since the case started, followed the demise of the former trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke, on August 4, 2020 who was handling the case.

The EFCC had alleged, among others in the 10 counts, that the defendants fraudulently converted cumulative proceeds of grass cutting contracts worth over N500m which Lawal, as then SGF, allegedly awarded to the companies in which he had interests.

The defendants, again, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them before Justice Charles Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, Abuja.

After the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, the defence lawyers pleaded with the judge to allow their clients to continue to enjoy the bail already granted them by the former judge.

Aside from Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), who represented the ex-SGF, the rest of the defence lawyers are Mr Sunday Ameh (SAN), Napoleon Idenala, Ocholi Okutepa, and Marcel Oru.

The judge fixed January 20 to 22 for trial.

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