Justice Charles Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Thursday rejected the forensic report presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the trial of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, for alleged N544 million fraud.
The commission re-arraigned Lawal, his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; on a 10-count charge of fraudulent award of contract to Rholavision Engineering Limited in November 2020.
Rholavision Engineering Limited is owned by the ex-SGF.
Also arraigned by the commission were the former staff of the company, Sulaiman Abubakar; its Managing Director, Apeh Monday; Rholavision Engineering Limited, and Josmon Technologies Limited.
In a ruling on the preliminary objection raised on the admissibility of the documents by the defence counsel, the judge held that the forensic report and the other computer-generated documents violated the provisions of the Evidence Act, 2004.
The EFCC counsel, Ofem Uket, had sought to tender a forensic report retrieved from a phone belonging to one Musa Bulani as evidence against the defendants.
But Lawal’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), raised an objection and asked the court not to admit the documents on the ground that the source fell short of Sections 84 and 256 of the Evidence Act, 2014.
He said the documents were printed copy of a compact disc, which was not the original source.
Olujimi insisted that the phone was the original source and therefore the extracted document was not marked as a certified true copy.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...
INVESTIGATION…PARKVIEW ESTATE: Exclusive images of how billionaire property developer incurred Lagos govt‘s anger
Many have seen the demolished building, but not many know the circumstances that led to the teardown of the about...
INVESTIGATION… N.3bn down the drain, as Enugu communities suffer from dry taps
In November 2020, three organizations and the Enugu State government celebrated the completion of N300 million worth of projects that were expected...
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....