The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on February 12, 2019 arraigned Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, before Justice Jude Okeke of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Maitama on a 10-count charge bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of N1.1 billion.
Lawal was arraigned along with his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Hamidu David Lawal, being a Director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, Suleiman Abubakar, being a staff of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, Apeh Monday John, being the Managing Director of Josmon Technologies Ltd and Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 4th of March, 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did abet the holding indirectly of a private interest by Engineer Babachir David Lawal in the award of contract to Josmon Technologies Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation through the Presidential Initiative for North West, PINE to the tune of N272,524,356.02 (Two Hundred and Seventy Two Million, Five Hundred and Twenty Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Six Naira, Two Kobo only) which Rholavision Engineering Ltd executed and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 26 (1)(c) of the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under section 12 of the same Act.”
They all pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecuting counsel, M.S. Abubakar, thereafter, asked for the “shortest date” for commencement of trial.