An FCT High Court in Maitama has granted leave to the EFCC to amend the charge in the trial of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and three others.
The former SGF was arraigned on Feb. 12 alongside Hamidu Lawal, a director in his company, Sulaiman Abubakar, staff in the company and Apeh Monday, managing director Josmon Technologies Limited and Rholavision Engineering Limited.
The Judge, Justice Jude Okeke, granted the leave, following an application by EFCC counsel, Ufom Uket to add the company, Josmon Technologies Limited., in count 6, 9 and 10.
Justice Okeke granted the leave for EFCC to amend charge and in accordance with section 218 of ACJA in addition he must file a fresh charge .
According to NAN, Okeke also granted the prayers of the defendants‘s counsel and ordered that the defendants continue in the existing bail conditions.
In addition he said since the defendants‘s counsel complained of the effect of prosecution ‘s amended charge on their preparation he would grant an adjournment.
Okeke adjourned until April 11 for commencement of trial.
Earlier, Akin Olujimi (SAN ) counsel for Lawal, said he was not opposing to the application.
He said the prosecution ought to have filed a fresh charge , he further said that the amendment would affect the day’s commencement of trial.
All the defendants’s counsel also prayed the court to allow the defendants to continue in the existing bail condition after they took their plea on the amended charge.
The EFCC dragged them to court on a 10-count charge bordering on conspiracy and unlawful award of contract to companies Lawal has interest at the sum of N544 million.
Lawal was accused of benefiting illegally from the approval of N544,119,925.36 for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation.