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
Babachir Says He Is Not Aware of his suspension, Calls Journalists 419ers
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF Babachir Lawal and
the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ambassador
Ayo Oke yesterday battled with tears hearing about their suspension on
Both men were seen minutes after the announcement of their suspension at
the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
While Lawal was seen coming out from the office of Vice President Yemi
Osinbajo after a private meeting, Oke was barred from accessing President
Muhammadu Buhari’s office. On stepping down from Osinbajo’s office, Lawal
showed surprise seeing a battery of Journalists waiting for him.
“419ers,” he said to Journalists apparently on a friendly note. While he
continued walking out, Journalists followed suit.
Asked for his reaction to his suspension the SGF in a voice laden with
emotion said “I am not aware”.
Reminded that the Presidency had issued a statement, suspending him, Lawal
who had at this time became emotional said: “Who’s presidency? Why is it
that you people are struggling to take my photograph today, something that
you people are not used to doing?
He waited for a while before his vehicle wheeled in to whisk him away.
Minutes later, the two- vehicle convoy of the suspended NIA arrived the
Sighting Journalists who were already waiting, the security operatives
automatically devised a means to prevent him from the glare of television
Providing human shield, the operatives guarded the DG, seeking an
alternative route to Osinbajo’s office through the back door.
Access not granted, they jumped backed into their vehicles and drove
towards the Presidential forecourt through the Admin Officer’s route.
For about 2 minutes, they got stuck at the gate with no one attending to
them to open the gate. Later, the vehicles made a U-turn and drove out of
the Villa. Minutes after the vehicles exited, the convoy of the National
Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno wheeled him into the Presidential
Hearing that the DG would return to see Osinbajo, Journalists stayed put
outside. It took the intervention of the Special Adviser to the President
on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina to clear Journalists along the
corridors leading to Osinbajo’s office back to the Press Gallery.
Meanwhile, the DG is back at the Villa, heavily guarded and led by
operatives to the Vice President’s office.
The meeting is ongoing at the moment. It will be recalled that President
Buhari on Tuesday suspended both men and set up a panel headed by Osinbajo
to investigate their respective roles in alleged corruption cases.