Federal Government slams corruption charges on Babachir Lawal, Oke

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(Sun)The Federal Government has finally preferred criminal charges against former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, and Ayodele Oke, former boss of the National Intelligent Agency.

Lawal was accused of awarding over N272 million grass-cutting contract to a company, Rholvision Engineering a Limited, said to be owned by him.

While Oke and his wife, Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke, will be arraigned before Justice Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, tomorrow, February 1, Babachir will be arraigned next week before a high court in Abuja.

In a charge marked CR/158/19 filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Babachir is being docked alongside five other officials of the company.

The 10-count charge also has Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited as defendants.

Babachir allegedly awarded a spurious contract of N272 million for the removal of wild grass and the provision of 115 hectares of simplified village irrigation in Yobe State and the company subsequently transferred the money to another firm, Rholavision Engineering Limited. 

The said amount was allegedly paid between March and September 2016 into the company’s account in EcoBank along Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna, with account numbers 0182001809 and 1180010559651. Rholavision Engineering Limited has its head office on 36, Gobarau Road, Kaduna, with registration number at 26, Ahmed Dantanko Road, Kaduna. M/S Josmon Technologies Limited was awarded the contract on March 8, 2016, under the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE), which handles the procurement of relief materials (food and non-food items), medical equipment and project vehicles for IDPs in the North East.

Part the charge read: “That you, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, Hamidu David Lawal being a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Rholavision Engineering Ltd, on or about the 7th day of March, 2016, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did conspire to commit an offence to wit: fraudulent acquisition of property and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 26(1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under section 12 of the same Act.

“That you, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd, on or about the 7th day of March, 2016, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the consultancy contract awarded to Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N7,009,515.96 by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation through the Presidential Initiative for North East and thereby committed an punishable under section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Meanwhile Oke will be facing a four-count charge alongside his wife for concealing the sum of $43,449,947.00, property of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Flat 7b, 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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