The ex-SGF was re-arraigned before Charles Agbaza, a new judge, alongside Hamidu Lawal, his brother, and five others.
The federal lawmakers had accused him of diverting public funds while handling grass cutting contracts.
Lawal and the other defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the amended 10 counts of fraud during their re-arraignment.
The defence counsels subsequently prayed the court to allow their clients to remain on the bail which was granted them in 2019.
The judge granted their request and fixed January 20 for commencement of trial.
Lawal’s travails began on December 14, 2016, when the senate ad-hoc committee on “mounting humanitarian crisis in the north-east” indicted him of fraud in a contract awarded for the clearing of “invasive plant species” in Yobe state, through the Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE).
PINE, which was under Lawal, was at the time unable to account for N2.5 billion allocated to it for the alleviation of the IDPs’ suffering.
But his trial, which began in January 2019, has dragged since he was suspended.
The EFCC counsel once complained that most of the prosecuting witnesses who are from the office of the SGF were bent on frustrating the trial.