Grass Cutting Scandal: Absence of judge stalls trial of former SGF Babachir

PRESIDENT BUHARI SACKS SGF BABACHIR LAWAL
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal

The trial of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, at the Divisional High Court, in Abuja, could not continue on Wednesday due to the absence of the judge.

The anti-corruption agency, EFCC, in March, re-arraigned the former SGF on a 10-count amended charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and diversion of funds to the tune of over N500 million.

Mr Lawal was re-arraigned alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd for the alleged offences.

‘Grass-cutting’

The EFCC on January 24, 2018, arrested the former SSG, following his sack alongside the former head of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, after they were indicted by a presidential panel that investigated misuse of funds meant for people displaced by Boko Haram.

The EFCC later filed the 10-count charge against the duo before a high court of the Federal Capital Territory for the alleged offence.

The EFCC said his offence is punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.
PREMIUM TIMES reported in June how the absence of Akin Olujimi, counsel to Mr Lawal, stalled the trial of the former SGF and his brother.

At the resumed hearing today, the court registrar informed counsel of Justice Jude Okeke absence because he was indisposed.

The counsel agreed to return for the continuation of the trial on November 5, 2019.

The court had earlier adjourned to October 16 to decide on the admissibility of some documents presented by the second prosecution witness, which the defence had objected to.

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