The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, ahead of his arraignment in the count on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Lawal was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2017 based on the recommendation of a Presidential Investigation Panel headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
His dismissal came months after he was suspended by the president due to allegations of his complicity in the misappropriation of funds earmarked for the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) through the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).
He was indicted by an ad-hoc Senate committee who alleged that he had awarded a contract to dispose of ‘invasive plant species’ in internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps to a company where he had vested interest.
The EFCC officially filed corruption charges against him at an Abuja High Court last month, ending months of public condemnation for allowing him to walk free.
According to a report by The Nation, Lawal has been arrested by the EFCC ahead of his Tuesday arraignment where he’ll defend himself against the 10-count charge with five other defendants including Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited.
He faces charges relating to the fraudulent award of contracts worth N544,119,925 to Rholavision and Josmon while indirectly having a private interest.
“We have detained the former SGF and some suspects in preparation of their arraignment in court on Tuesday. They have been served charges and their trial will commence.
“The EFCC team is ready for the prosecution of the suspects with its witnesses ready accordingly,” a source told The Nation.
The charges against Lawal include the fraudulent acquisition of property, fraudulent acquisition of the private interest in the contracts, and knowingly holding indirectly a private interest in the contracts.