Diversion of Fund: EFCC Presents First Witness Against Babachir Lawal Over Grass-cutting Scandal

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 , Mohammed Babansule, a manager with the First City Monument Bank, FCMB.

Precise Post recalls that the Commission is prosecuting the former SGF along side others over .

The EFCC disclosed this in a statement released via it’s twitter handle account.

In his examination-in-chief, the , who is the account manager of the Sixth defendant, Josmon Technologies Ltd, told the 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 counsel, O. I. Uket, thereafter asked the to admit in evidence, copies of account opening package, Corporate Affairs Commission’s forms with copies of the director’s international and utility bill.

With no objection from the defence counsel, 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 Charles Agbaza of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High , Jabi Abuja on a 10-count charge bordering on diversion of funds, criminal and official to the tune of N544 million.

The defendants were re-arraigned before Agbaza on November 30, 2020 after the demise of Jude Okeke who had been hearing the matter.

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.

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