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, David 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, Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.
A three-person committee comprising the Attorney-General of the
Federation, the National Security Adviser, and 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.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has met with the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, barely an hour
after the announcement of Mr. Lawal’s suspension from office.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closed-door meeting is
connected with the work of the Presidential Committee set up to
investigate allegations of misconduct against the SGF.
When accosted, Mr. Lawal refused to comment on the outcome of his
meeting with the vice-president.
The Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo
Oke, who was also suspended, was seen around the Vice President’s
office immediately after the departure of the SGF.
The NIA boss, who noticed the presence of State House correspondents,
however turned back and attempted to pass through Vice President’s
exit gate.
He was prevented from going out through that point by security
officials; the security also stopped Mr. Oke from passing through the
service chief’s gate.
The NIA boss later left the Presidential Villa without seeing the
Vice-President.

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