Nigeria

EFCC to appeal Babachir Lawal’s fraud case dismissal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the court's decision to throw out a fraud case against Babachir Lawal, a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it will appeal the court’s decision to throw out a fraud case against Babachir Lawal, a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

The commission had re-arraigned Lawal, his younger brother Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd, on a 10-count charge of alleged theft of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption totaling N544 million.

A high court in the federal capital territory (FCT) cleared the former SGF of the charges on Friday.

The judge in charge, Charles Agbaza, said that the EFCC did not establish a connection between the defendants and the corruption charges.

He also said that the 11 witnesses brought by the prosecution didn’t prove anything about a crime.

In a statement released on Friday, the EFCC said it would appeal the court’s decision.

“Ruling on the no-case submission made by the defendants today, Justice Agbaza held that the commission, which presented 11 witnesses in the course of the trial, failed to establish the ingredients of the alleged offense,” the statement says.

“He held that the commission did not establish that Babachir Lawal was either a member of the presidential initiative for northeast (PINE) that awarded the contract or a member of the ministerial tenders board that vetted and gave approval to the disputed contract.

“But dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC has indicated that it will obtain a copy of the judgment for an urgent review and challenge its validity at the appellate court.”