Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and five others have been dismissed and cleared of the N544M Contract Fraud accusation filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Prior to the court verdict, Lawal was facing criminal charges together with his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, and two firms, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd, for suspected money laundering.
The judgement was issued on Friday, November 18, by Justice Charles Agbaza of the Federal High Court in Abuja, who stated that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a case against the ex-SGF and the co-defendants.
Agbaza, who also stated that no elements of any offence were established by the 11 witnesses who testified for the EFCC, added that the anti-graft agency did not establish that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the Presidential Initiative for the North East that awarded the contract or a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board that vetted and approved the disputed contract.
According to Justice Agbaza, the EFCC also failed to connect Babachir Lawal with the Bureau of Public Procurement BPP, which gave a certificate of no objection to the contract before it was given.
The judge then discharged and acquitted all of the accused on the 10-count criminal accusations against them due to a lack of evidence linking them to the crime.