The Ahmed Markafi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the suspension
of Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF),
and Ayo Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA),
is an attempt to dress up a “failed anti-corruption war”.
President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the suspension of the duo on Wednesday.
But in a statement on Thursday, Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the Markafi
faction of the PDP, said the right thing to be done was to have arrested
“We are alarmed at the suspension of the SGF at a time that Nigerians and
the international community are excitedly enjoying the theatre of the
absurd playing out with the recovery of huge sums of money without
owners,” he said.
“Now the APC-led federal government suddenly realised the corruption
allegation levelled against the SGF; and instead of arresting and
detaining him as the government has been doing to PDP members and other
Nigerians, he was rather suspended and a committee set-up to investigate
him. This is to say the least, double standard.
“Some Nigerians have applauded the suspension as indicating a new
commitment by President Buhari to fight the anti-corruption war without
fear or favour but we are constrained to point out that it is another ruse
to deceive Nigerians and dress up the failed anti-corruption war in a new
Adeyeye also said there was no transparency in setting up a committee
comprising cabinet members to investigate the SGF.
“We are at a loss why the president would set up a panel comprising
members of his cabinet to investigate other senior very powerful members
of the same executive,” he said.
“Where is the transparency in that? Not that we doubt the integrity of the
vice-president (for whom we have the utmost respect) and other panellists
but it appears the matter is being settled within the government closet
without the transparency, independence and impartiality necessary in a
situation like this. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to
have been done.
“This is especially important given the fact that we recently travelled
this road when the president asked the attorney-general to investigate the
SGF (on this same matter) and Magu, the acting chairman of the EFCC. That
investigation cleared the SGF of all wrong doings in the grass cutting
scandal as stated above.
“It is amazing that the president who swiftly accepted the recommendations
of the attorney-general would now suddenly set-up another panel comprising
the same attorney-general to investigate the matter again.
“The pertinent question is whether the president has now realised that the
initial investigation by the attorney-general was not thorough or a
cover-up to protect a fellow cabinet member.”
The PDP demanded the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry
“comprising of people of integrity and competence”.
Adeyeye said it was only by this way that they and Nigerians would be
assured that a thorough investigation would be carried out.
“Against this backdrop, we are constrained to express our lack of
confidence in the new panel headed by the vice president,” he said.
“Instead, we demand an independent commission of inquiry comprising
eminent Nigerians of proven records of integrity, independence and
“This is the only way by which we can have confidence that a thorough and
impartial investigation will be conducted and by which the president also
can reassure the general public that there are no sacred cows in his
government for whom there are different set of rules. The present
situation amounts to the government being the judge in its own cause. We
do not believe that justice can be served that way.”