Ex-SGF Lawal’s trial stalled

The trial of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, was stalled yesterday at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Maitama, due to illegible prosecution witness’ document.

The fourth prosecution witness, Aminu Ahmed, had introduced himself as Principal Procurement Officer in the Office of SGF.

Ahmed, who testified, also told the court that he was a member of the evaluation committee that recommended the contract to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

Ahmed became stuck when asked by Mr Ufom Uket, the prosecuting counsel, to read a document, which was BPP’s response statement to the recommendations of the evaluation committee.

The witness explained that the document was illegible, adding that he could not read it.

In the circumstance, Uket prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution bring a clearer copy of the report.

Justice Jude Okeke adjourned the matter till February 19, 2020, for continuation of trial since there was no objection raised against the move.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Lawal is standing trial over alleged fraudulent award of N544.1 million for grass-cutting contract through the Presidential Initiative for the Northeast.

The ex-SGF’s brother, David Lawal, a director of Rholavision Engineering Limited, is also on trial.

Others are: Sulaiman Abubakar, Managing Director of Josmon Technologies Limited, and Apeh Monday.

NAN recalls that the defendants are charged with 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy and fraud.

The EFCC said the alleged offences violate Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

But the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against them.

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