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N554m Grass-Cutting Scandal: EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-SGF, Lawal

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Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has been re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before a High Court in Abuja, over his alleged involvement in grass-cutting contract fraud amounting to N554 million.

Lawal was re-arraigned by the anti-graft agency on an amended 10-count charge with six others.

The other six are: the ex-SGF’s younger brother, Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two firms – Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty, while Justice Charles Agbaza, who took over the case from Justice Jude Okeke, read their charge to them.

The defendants were given the grace to enjoy their bail earlier granted by the former trial judge, and adjourned till January 20, 2021 for trial.

Recall that late Justice Okeke, on February 13, 2019, granted the defendants bail at N50 million each, with one surety in like sum.

The court seized the international passports of the accused, even as it barred them from travelling out of the country without permission.

The ex-SGF was, among other things, alleged to have connived with the other defendants and illegally diverted a contract the Presidential Initiative for Northeast (PINE) awarded for the removal of grasses in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps to his own company.

Source: Naija News