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Court acquits Babachir Lawal, others of N544m grass-cutting scandal

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, and five other people have been cleared of the N544 million grass-cutting contract fraud by an FCT High Court.

According to Justice Charles Agbaza’s ruling today the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was unable to construct a case against Lawal and others.

EFCC charged, Lawal, his younger brother Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, John Apeh, Rholavision Engineering, and Josmon Technologies in 2020 on a 10-count criminal conspiracy, fraud, and diversion of funds charge stemming from the diversion of funds intended to clear evasive plant species and grasses in the North East.

Justice Agbaza in his decision, stated that none of the 11 witnesses cited by the EFCC provided proof that Lawal was either a participant in the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE), which selected the contract recipient, or a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board, which reviewed and approved the contested contract.

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