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Monday, September 21, 2020
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Babachir Lawal’s EFCC Trial Stalled By Absence of Witnesses


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The trial of Babachir Lawal, the former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), was stalled on Thursday due to the absence of the prosecution witnesses.

Mr Lawal is being tried alongside six others over an alleged N544.1 million fraud over a dubious grass-cutting contract awarded by the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Babachir, his brother Hamidu Lawal and Rholavision, a company where both are director and two others on a 10-count charge bordering conspiracy and fraud.

At the resumed trial, Ofem Uket, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), informed the court that none of the EFCC’s witnesses were available to testify.

Uket apologised to the judge over the anti-graft agency’s inability to produce the witnesses before the court and then prayed the court to grant an adjournment to enable him bring the witnesses.

“It is regrettable that none of my witnesses is in court for this trial, I wish to apologize for this and I humbly urge this honourable court to give me another adjournment,” he said

Akin Olujinmi, counsel to Lawal, did not object to the application for an adjournment. He confirmed that the EFCC counsel already informed him of the development before the commencement of the day’s proceedings.

Jude Okeke, the judge, adjourned the matter till June 10 and June 16 to enable EFCC to produce its witnesses.

The EFCC counsel had complained in a previous court hearing that most of the witnesses who are from the office of the SGF are bent on frustrating the trial.

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