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Former SGF, Lawal pleads not guilty to corruption, remanded in EFCC custody
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), before a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.
A 10-count charge bordering on contract scam and abuse of office was filed against Lawal, his company, Rholavision Engineering Limited, and three others, namely: Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, and Apeh Monday, by the EFFC.
The charges had to do with Lawal’s use of a company belonging to him to defraud the country of over N272 million via a contract that was intended to remove “invasive grasses” from certain areas in the North East.
Lawal and the other accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and their lawyers applied for them to be granted bail, but the trial judge ordered that the accused persons should be remanded in the custody of the EFCC until Wednesday when the bail application will be heard.
President Muhammad Buhari had suspended Lawal and later sacked him from office after a panel, headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, submitted the report of its investigation, indicting Lawal of corruption and abuse of office.
Fifteen months after, the federal government on January 30, 2019, pressed charges against Lawal over the alleged fraud.