I Still See, Discuss With Buhari – Ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, says the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to fire him has not affected their relationship.
He said this in an exclusive interview with Hard Copy, a Channels Television programme, which aired on Friday.
Mr Lawal who was removed from office after being hit with corruption allegations is adamant that he has not let the President down.
“I still see the President. If I have anything to discuss, I do; he’s a politician, I’m a politician,” he said.
The former SGF believes his relationship with the President is strong enough to stand the test of time and it would take more than “false accusation” to ruin it.
Explaining further, the 63-year-old said he joined politics just to help President Buhari rise to power.
“I joined politics to contribute to making President Muhammadu Buhari the president. That’s the only reason I joined politics and this will not be an issue between us,” he said.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is investigating Mr Lawal for allegedly violating due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
A three-man presidential panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo investigated the allegations against him and submitted a report of its investigation to the President before he was fired.
He, however, insists the allegations against him are false. Consequently, he is happy with the EFCC investigation and expects it to prove his innocence.
Mr Lawal was on suspension for six months before being fired. President Buhari suspended him on April 19, 2017, to make way for an investigation after repeated calls for his ouster based on the corruption allegations.
He was suspended along with the then Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ayo Oke, who got caught in the eye of a storm after the EFCC recovered funds belonging to the NIA from an apartment in Ikoyi.
On October 30, 2017, two months after receiving the report of the presidential panel, President Buhari fired Lawal and Oke.
Mr Boss Mustapha was appointed to replace him.