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N500M ALLEGED FRAUD: Ex-SGF Lawal fights EFCC move to tender video evidence

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Allegations against me were ‘fabricated’, but I’ve forgiven my enemies to make heaven— Babachir

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, on Wednesday opposed a move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to tender video evidence on his alleged N500 million fraud.

The EFCC is prosecuting Lawal and his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John, alongside two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant), on alleged diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N500 million.

When the matter resumed on Wednesday before Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court, Maitama, the prosecution counsel, Offem Uket, told the court he wanted to tender a video evidence of the fraud in a CD.

This came after a prosecution witness, Fatima Umar told Justice Okeke how she extracted evidence linking Lawal, to the alleged fraud.

Umar, a certified data examiner with the EFCC, had told the court that she extracted a forensic report from an iPhone belonging to one Mr Gulani, using a cellebrite camera.

However, efforts by Uket to tender a video evidence linking Lawal to the alleged offence was opposed by the defence counsel, Akin Olujimi.

According to Olujimi, information generated from the phone or any other device by virtue of section 84 of the Evidence Act, had to be certified before it could be admitted in evidence.

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He added that the prosecution was yet to produce any such certification.

After listening to the arguments by the counsels, Justice Okeke adjourned the matter to September 24, 2019, for the continuation of trial.

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