Court orders EFCC to remand Babachir Lawal in custody

Written by Aniekpeno Nsibiet

An Abuja High Court has ordered that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation,

Babachir Lawal, be remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission custody.

Lawal was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on 10-count charges

of fraudulent diversion of funds meant to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram.

He was removed from office in October 2017 after a three-man committee

comprising Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser Mohammed Babagana Monguno

and Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami

was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the allegations against him.

Lawal was grilled by the Osinbajo-led three-man Presidential panel

over the N220 million meant for welfare of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in North-East.

Osinbajo submitted a report into the claims in August 2017 suggesting his sack.

Since his removal in October 2017 by Buhari, many Nigerians have called for his prosecution.

Lawal appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday

since his dismissal two years ago over the allegations.

Lawal during the court sitting, pleaded not guilty of all the charges.

The judge, Jude Okeke, however, gave the remand order following

an appeal by Lawal’s counsel to grant him bail.

During the court session, the counsel to the first defendant,

a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Akin Olujimi, had filed an application that his client be granted bail.

But the prosecution counsel, Muhammed Abubakar,

argued that the court should not grant the bail application.

The court however fixed the ruling on his bail application for February 13.

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Aniekpeno Nsibiet

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