At Last, Buhari Suspends SGF Lawal, NIA Boss Oke

At Last, Buhari Suspends SGF Lawal, NIA Boss Oke

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Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina has announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend both the secretary to government of the federation, Engr BD Lawal, and the director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ayo Oke.

The Senate had asked Buhari to sack Lawal over alleged corruption in a grass-cutting contract.

Oke claimed that some N15billion recovered from an Ikoyi, Lagos, residence last week belonged to the NIA and meant for “covert operations” approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Critics have wondered why the two suspects have not been taken to EFCC jail, as other suspects not linked to the ruling party have, before investigation of their alleged crimes.

Others have applauded the move, saying it came late though.

Adesina’s statement this Wednesday:

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.

In a related development, the President has ordered a full-scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

The President has also directed the suspension of the Director-General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.

The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.

The most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council failed to meet this week. The president was not available for the meeting last week also.

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