A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the ongoing trial of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has admitted that the alleged N544m contract fraud charges against the defendant are unnecessary, Punch reports.
The witness, Dare Folarin, told a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja that the allegations against Lawal ought to have been dropped immediately the Bureau of Public Procurement confirmed giving approval for a contract award to Rholavision Engineering Company.
Under cross examination by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, the witness admitted that the anti graft agency ought not to have proceeded further immediately the BPP confirm giving approval for the contract under emergency procurement procedure to salvage the people of the North East.
Folarin, who is an operative of EFCC, like other witnesses in the trial, admitted that Lawal was not a member of the Ministerial Tenders Board under the Presidential Initiative for North East initiated by the President, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and that his role as the SGF was to formulate policy and be notified of the report of the board.
“I am aware in the course of investigation that approval for the contract award was admitted to have been granted by the Bureau of Public Procurement due to its no objection to the proposal by the PINE Ministerial Tenders Board.
“I am also aware that the BPP did not recommend investigation to EFCC on the alleged abuse of office and procurement violation”, the witness said.
Meanwhile, Justice Charles Agbaza has fixed March 31 and April 1, 2022 for further hearing in the matter.
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