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EFCC reopens former SGF grasscutter case


By Ismail Auwal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday has reopened its case on former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, accused of N544m grass-cutting contract fraud.

The anti-graft agency has restarted the trial and called its first witness against Lawal and six others.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Mohammed Babansule, a relationship manager with the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), was called as the first prosecution witness.

In his examination-in-chief, the witness, who is the account manager of the sixth defendant (Josmon Technologies Ltd), told the court that the account opening form and other documents submitted to the bank showed that Apeh, the fourth defendant, is the signatory to the account.

Babansule said although the company account was opened in 2015, he became the relationship manager in June 2018.

The witness presented copies of the account opening package, registration forms of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as well as copies of the director’s international passport and utility bill.
O.I. Uket, prosecution counsel, urged the court to admit the documents in evidence.

With no objection from the defence counsel, the judge admitted the documents as exhibits 1 to 33.

The matter has been adjourned till January 21, 2021, for continuation.

They were re-arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy and official corruption before Charles Agbaza, a federal capital territory (FCT) high court judge, on November 30, 2020, following the demise of Jude Okeke, the previous trial judge.


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