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EFCC Releases ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

Lawal, who has been in EFCC custody since Wednesday, was released on bail on Friday evening.

His detention happened barely 24 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a strongly-worded letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of condoning corrupt practices among his allies.

This prompted speculations that Lawal was detained because of Obasanjo’s letter.

But the EFCC denied such claim, saying it had nothing to do with Obasanjo’s letter and that both incidents were coincidental.

Lawal’s travails began on December 14, 2016, when the senate ad-hoc committee on humanitarian crisis in the north-east indicted him of fraud.

He was implicated in a grass-cutting contract awarded to his company, for the clearing of “invasive plant species” in Yobe state, through the Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE).

He was accused of using his company Rholavision Engineering Ltd for a contract for the clearing of evasive plant species in Yobe.

Lawal’s crime, according to the ad-hoc committee, included his alleged spending of N570 million to cut grass.

President Muhammadu Buhari later set up a panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to probe the allegations.

The Osinbajo report did not exculpate Lawal whose appointment Buhari terminated and appointed Boss Mustapha as replacement.

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