Buhari to decide on case allegations against suspended SGF and DG NIA fate
President Muhammadu Buhari would decide the fate of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
Lawal and Oke were suspended on April 19 following and a three-man committee which included the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno (retd) raised to investigate them.
Prof. Osinbajo, who spoke to journalists after he presented the report to the president, decline to reveal the content. He insisted that the president would study it make his decisions known at a yet to be determined date.
“Of course not. I mean this is a report, which contains recommendations to the president. It is a fact finding committee as you know and what our terms of reference were was to find out, based on the fact available to us and based on the interviews of witnesses of what transpired in those cases of the report, one involving the SGF and the other the DG of NIA. We have now concluded and we submitted a full report with recommendations to the president. We cannot, of course, give you any kind of details because the president has to look at the report, study it and then make his own decisions based on that report.”
Buhari was originally scheduled to receive the report on May 8, but had to leave travel on May 7 after he received the 104 released Chibok secondary school girls, for medical consultations with his doctors in London. He returned last Saturday after 103 days.
Asked if Nigerians should expect a fair report despite the fact that the suspended SGF is a friend of the president, the vice president replied: “Well, as you can imagine, we are always fair-minded and the whole approach is to ensure that justice is done in all cases.
“It is in the interest of the government and also in the interest of the nation that things are done properly and that there is due process and that we are not unfair. You can be sure that we will do the right thing.”
On how soon Nigerians should expect the president’s decision on the report, Osinbajo said: “All I can now say is that we have submitted the report, and it is a very detailed report, as a matter of fact. The president has to study the report and make decisions.”
Asked if heads would roll, he replied: “No, how can I tell you? If you want to know what is in the report you have to wait, you really have to wait.”
President Buhari had in April ordered the suspension of Lawal and Oke.
He also ordered investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
The Senate had indicted Global Vision Ltd., owned by the SGF last December for benefiting from inflated and phantom contracts – or ones not executed at all – awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE). The company got over N200 million contracts to clear invasive grass in Yobe State Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp.
Oke’s travail followed the discovery of substantial sum of money in local and foreign currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the NIA made a claim.
Dr. Habibat Lawal was named acting SGF, while Ambassador Arab Yadam, was also named acting NIA DG as directed by Buhari that the most senior permanent secretary in the Office of the SGF and senior deputy in NIA.
Earlier, the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) which has held all the time Buhari was away on medical vacation was shelved.
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, however, failed to give reasons for the cancellation of the meeting.
Adesina only said the president would receive the report of the investigation committee into the allegations against the suspended SGF and the DG, NIA.
However, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome described as shameful and disgraceful, a statement by the presidency that Buhari could not work from his office because of rats and rodents.
Ozekhome said the statement derided and shamed Nigeria as a country.
“So, a whole Julius Berger, the German construction giant has to be called in to drive them away and repaint the office! This statement further derides and shames Nigeria as a country. Why didn’t the same, or similar rodents pursue Obasanjo, Yar’adua and Jonathan during their presidency?” he queried.
He said that for truth, there was another mini office at the villa quite different from the official residence and main office.
“Let PMB work from them. Let’s see our president working, not through still photo shopping. For how long will this government take the Nigerian citizens for a ride and for robots? Who told the image makers we are as brainless as they are? Don’t they know that lies have expiry date and that propaganda cannot substitute for image making?”
Meanwhile, former presidential aspirant, Princess Hadiza Ibrahim, said Buhari should probe allegations that hyenas and jackals have infiltrated his administration.
She described the hyenas and jackals as “those people that did not want Buhari to come back and wanted this country to be upside down.They are the enemies of this country. And they know themselves. I know that Buhari will do some fact-finding and get to know them. I advise the hyenas and the jackals to run. So, those who feel they should run, should run now.
“President Buhari should sit down properly, look at the right and left, though he has done a little mistakes, which he accepted by his speech and he should put them right. We are all happy that President Buhari has returned to Nigeria. It is a great loss to be ashamed of a shameless person. Baba should throw out the hyenas and jackals in his kingdom. If they wished him dead and he is back, he should put them in their places.”