Kunle Sanni, premiumtimes
A prosecution witness narrated to an Abuja court, on Thursday, how two companies allegedly linked to a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, were paid N544 million for the controversial grass cutting contract.
The grass-cutting scandal cost Mr Lawal his job in 2017.
Hamza Buwai, a Deputy Director, Finance and Accounts from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), appeared before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja, as the second prosecution witness in Mr Lawal’s trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Mr Lawal with amended 10 counts, including awarding contracts to companies in which he had interests, fraud, criminal conspiracy, and diversion of about N544 million belonging to the government.
Those standing trial along with him are his younger brother Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant).
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the EFCC, on Wednesday, called its first prosecution witness, Mohammed Babasule, a banker with the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), who tendered the statement of accounts and the account opening documents of Josmon Technologies.
EFCC gave an account of Thursday’s court session in a statement sent to journalists after the proceedings.
It said Mr Buwai told the court how Mr Lawal, as the then SGF, approved separate payments for the contractor and the consultant for “the removal of invasive plant species irrigation programme” and construction of water gates along the N250km River Kamadugu Yobe River.
Mr Buwai said Josmon Technologies Ltd was the contractor while Rholavision Engineering Ltd was the consultant on the contracts.