By Ogechi Okorie
Abuja (Precise Post) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, opened its case in the ongoing trial of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Babachir Lawal and three others when it presented its first witness, Mohammed Babansule, a relationship manager with the First City Monument Bank, FCMB.
Precise Post recalls that the Commission is prosecuting the former SGF along side others over alleged diversion of funds.
The EFCC disclosed this in a statement released via it’s twitter handle account.
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 the fourth defendant, Apeh, is the signatory to the account.
In addition, Babansule said the account of Josmon Technologies Ltd which was opened in 2015 was allocated to him in June 2018.
The prosecution counsel, O. I. Uket, thereafter asked the court to admit in evidence, copies of account opening package, Corporate Affairs Commission’s registration forms with copies of the director’s international passport and utility bill.
With no objection from the defence counsel, Justice Agbaza admitted the documents as exhibit 1 to 33 and adjourned the matter to January 21, 2021 for continuation of trial.
Lawal along with his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar; Monday John Apeh and two companies: Rholavision Engineering Ltd., and Josmon Technologies Ltd as standing trial before Justice Charles Agbaza of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Jabi Abuja on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy and official corruption to the tune of N544 million.
Recall that Lawal was suspended as Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF) by President Buhari on 19 April 2017, and was officially relieved of all duties on 30 October 2017 for misappropriating funds intended for alleviating the food crisis in Nigeria’s Northeast, caused largely by Boko Haram.
A three-man committee comprising Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Monguno and Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami was set up by President Buhari to investigate the allegations against the Lawal.
Lawal was grilled by the Osinbajo-led three-man Presidential panel over the N220 million meant for welfare of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in North-East.