Grass Cutting Scandal: Workers sue firm linked to Babachir

The ad hoc workers engaged in the grass cutting project have filed a suit against Josmon Technologies Ltd and Rholavision Engineering Ltd, a company linked to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.  

Mr Lawal and six others were previously facing charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged fraudulent N500 million grass-cutting contract.  

The other defendants are Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and two companies; Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd.  

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had accused them of fraud, criminal conspiracy and diversion of N500 million from the federal government.  

The EFCC alleged that Mr Lawal, while he was the SGF, converted and awarded cumulative proceeds of grass cutting contracts worth over N500 million to companies he had interests in.  

In a fresh move, the ad hoc workers, numbering 998, sued the companies at a High Court, in Yobe State, demanding their outstanding payment.  

They told the court that they cleared 230 kilometers waterways blocked by typha grass from Jigawa State to Yobe, leading to Chad.  

The workers are suing the two companies and three other persons for refusing to pay their money after completing the work.  

In a suit number YBS/HC/NG/170C/2020, the workers are claiming the sum of N140m as their outstanding payment, which the defendants have refused to pay.  

The plaintiffs claimed that they agreed with the defendants to do the work at N756, 000k per km and that the defendants have paid 200,000 per km amounting (238km) N47.6m while an outstanding balance of N132, 328,000 is yet to be paid.  

The supervisors of the project, who happened to be the 1st and 2nd plaintiffs in the suit (Abubakar Umar-Maigari and Hassan), claimed that the defendants agreed to pay the N50,000 per km, amounting to N11.9M.  

What baffled the plaintiffs and even compelled them to approach the Court is that the defendants, after paying 20 per cent of the money, promised the plaintiffs to pay the remaining balance as soon as North-East Commission releases funds.  

However, at the Senate Committee investigating the grass cutting scandal, the defendants told the committee of having paid the entire money for the job a development, which baffled the plaintiffs, thus, seek court redress. 

The workers approached the court on December 8 in Nguru, Yobe State. 

The presiding judge, Inusa Buzi, adjourned the case to January 26, 2021, for hearing.

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