The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has re-arraigned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, before an Abuja High Court at Maitama, over his alleged complicity in the N544 million grass-cutting contract.

At the re-arraignment on Monday, the former SGF, again, entered a fresh plea of not guilty to an amended 10-count charge the EFCC preferred against him and six others.

The 10 amended charges were read to the defendants before Justice Charles Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, Abuja.

The other six Defendants that were also re-arraigned by the EFCC are; Hamidu Lawal, the younger brother to the former SGF, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies – Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd.

After the defendants pleaded innocence, the defence lawyers pleaded with the judge to allow the SGF and the other six defendants to retain the bail conditions it earlier granted to them.

Allegation of connivance with the other Defendants and illegal diversion of a contract of the Presidential Initiative for the North East, (PINE) among others formed the charges against Lawan.

Since the case started, Monday’s re-arraignment was the second after the demise of the former trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke, on August 4, 2020.

Following his demise, the case-file was re-assigned to Justice Agbaza for the trial to commence de-novo (afresh) on Monday.

Late Justice Okeke had on February 13, 2019, granted the defendants bail to the tune of N50m each, with one surety in like sum.

The trial had already proceeded with EFCC calling its witnesses, before Justice Okeke’s death on August 4, 2020.

Justice Agbaza slated January 20, 2021, to restart the trial.


In the charge marked CR/158/19, some of the counts read: “That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, on or about the 7th of March, 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the consultancy contract awarded to Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N7, 009,515.96 (Seven Million, Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifteen Naira and Ninety Six Kobo only) by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.

“That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of 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 knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technologies Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation 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 and Two Kobo only) by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

“That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 22nd August, 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technologies Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Five Naira only) by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000”.

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