Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal opposes EFCC evidence on alleged N544m fraud

  Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) t...

 

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to reject computer-generated documents sought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to be tendered as exhibits in his alleged N544 million contract fraud trial.

Lawal told the court that the forensic laboratory report generated from a computer was not admissible because they were not in their original form and not certified as required by law.

The EFCC through, Ofem Uket, had sought to tender a forensic laboratory report obtained from an iPhone print out belonging to one Musa Bulani to establish the money laundering charges filed against the former SGF and five others.

Lawal’s counsel, Akin Olujimi (SANl objected to the admission of the documents on grounds that their sources ran foul of sections 84 and 256 of the Evidence Act 2014.

He argued that the printed hardcopy obtained from the Compact Disc is not the original source but the iPhone.

Olujimi further argued that the extraction is not marked as a Certified True Copy (CTC) adding that EFCC hacked into someone’s phone and came up with what it found and yet sought to tender it without following due process of law.

Olujimi insisted a certificate signed by the maker must accompany them since they are electronically generated evidence and urged Justice Charles Agbaza to reject the extracted information.

John Itodo, counsel for the second defendant, Napoleon Idenala, counsel for the third defendant, Ocholi Okutepa, counsel for the fourth and sixth defendant, M. E. Oru, and counsel for the fifth defendant all aligned themselves with Olujimi’s submission and adopted it as their arguments.

The prosecution said there is no need to issue a certificate, stressing that a witness has testified in court and has presented original documents.

Justice Charles Agbaza fixed June 9 for ruling on the admissibility of the documents and cross-examination of the third witness.

Lawal is facing a 10-count charge, including diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption. He pleaded ‘not guilty.

Others defendants are his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant).

Two weeks ago, an EFCC witness, Hamza Adamu Buwai, told the court that a consultancy job was awarded to Rholavision Engineering Limited where Lawal’s sibling, Hamidu, is a Director.

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Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News: Ex-SGF Babachir Lawal opposes EFCC evidence on alleged N544m fraud
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