Court rejects EFCC’s forensic report in ex-SGF’s trial
JUSTICE Charles Agbaza of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, today, 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.