EFCC Summons Former NIA DG, Wife

EFCC Summons Former NIA DG, Wife

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayodele Oke, and his wife, Folashade.

EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed this in a statement signed by him on Wednesday.

According to Uwujaren, the summon was in furtherance of the Commission’s investigative activities to unravel the circumstances surrounding the $43.45 million cash recovered by its operatives in Lagos sometime in April 2017.

READ ALSO: Buhari Sacks Babachir Lawal, NIA DG, Appoints New SGF

This comes two days after President Muhammadu Buhari sacked Mr Oke and the former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal over corruption allegations.

Lawal was suspended for allegedly violating the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), while Oke was suspended for his alleged connection with the Ikoyi funds.

President Buhari had set up a three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the allegations levelled against both men.

The committee was, however, unable to submit its report on schedule as the President went on medical leave, a trip that kept him away from the country for more than three months.

After the delay in taking a decision on the fate of both men had attracted criticism, President Buhari sacked Lawal and Oke on October 30.

Hours later, the Presidency said it would not shield anyone found to be culpable the anti-corruption war from prosecution.

The EFCC consequently invited Mr Oke and his wife whom it claimed the apartment in Ikoyi where the funds were recovered was rented in her name.

“Mrs Oke had refused to honour previous invitations by the Commission which resumed its investigation into the matter, following the Federal Government’s decision to relieve Mr Oke of his position as DG,” Uwujaren said.

“Beside the couple, other suspects are equally being invited to determine their culpability or otherwise in the humongous cash, in foreign currencies and naira notes, stashed in a residential building at Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos,” he added.

SGF, Babachir Lawal Appears Before Osinbajo Panel

Babachir Lawal
Mr Babachir Lawal

The suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, has appeared before the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led three-man investigative committee.

The panel, set up to investigate the allegations of violation of law and due process made against Mr Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE), is equally investigating the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayo Oke.

Also Read: Osinbajo Panel Vows Thorough Probe Of SGF, NIA Boss

Mr Oke, who was grilled on Monday for over 10 hours by the panel, is under probe over the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos.

Also Read: EFCC Discovers Huge Sums Of Money In Ikoyi Apartment

The meeting between the panel and the SGF began on Tuesday at 1:00PM and ended at about 3:30PM, after the Vice President received members of the Bangladesh Military delegation at the State House, Abuja.

Other members of the committee are National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Also Read: Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

The committee is expected to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, May 3.

Dino Melaye Applauds SGF, NIA DG’s Suspension

Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, has applauded President Mohammadu Buhari’s suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.

He made this known in an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

“I’ll start by saying, that was a very fantastic move by Mr President, I welcome the suspension, especially that of the SGF, and though very belated, it’s a welcome development and I congratulate the President for taking such a bold step and we hope that decisions would also be taken in this manner on some other pending controversial issues.

Speaking on the “other pending issues”, he explained that “there are a lot of individuals that have been investigated or not cleared by the Nigerian Senate and we expect that with unity of purpose as enshrined in the constitution between the legislature and the executive, the executive should be more proactive especially in decision making.

“A times, when you delay in taking some decisions, it creates some bad blood and it discourages the spirit of the fight against corruption because when you delay very important decisions, it begins to send a signal that we are being lackadaisical in the fight against corruption.”

While also praising the President, he expressed dissatisfaction over the committee that was set up to investigate the issues surrounding the suspension.

“The President has done well by the suspension but I do not subscribe to the committee that was set up by Mr President,” Melaye said.

According to him, this was because he expected the President to wait for the report of the Senate on the SGF especially when there had already been a communication between the Presidency and the Senate, requesting for a final report.

“I do not understand why a new committee would be set up to look into the matter when already the President is expecting a final report from the legislature and we are doing this within the confines of the constitution.”

He however noted that the committee is currently working assiduously to complete their investigation regardless, and he gave the assurance that the revelations would be sterling.

Legal Practitioner Faults FG’s Committee On SGF, NIA DG’s Investigation

A legal practitioner, John Oloyede, has faulted the Federal Government’s idea of setting up a committee to investigate issues surrounding the suspension of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.

He said in Nigeria, committees are set up to cover up lies. “There is a lie and you need a bigger lie to cover it up”.

“Why should the Vice President be heading a committee to investigate an allegation of crime against two individuals.

 Dead On Arrival

“Secondly, the Attorney General and even the Presidency authored a response to the allegations by the Senate, giving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation a clean bill of health previously.

“The clean bill of health was on the basis of a report that was submitted by the Attorney General of the Federation. You now set up a committee; that committee is dead on arrival.

“If you suspect that there is some proof that something untoward has been done and is an infraction of the law, the proper procedure is not to set up a committee that is dead on arrival.”

The lawyer therefore stated that the President should have taken a different step, rather than setting up a committee headed by the Vice President.

Let EFCC Investigate

“In Nigeria, you set up institutions and decapitate the institutions,” he said, while also noting that “what Professor Sani said, is playing out. You do not move two different sets of rules to fight corruption.

“If there is an allegation of crime against somebody, first and foremost, where did the first report come from? Now that it has become apparent to you (Mr President), that there is a problem with this particular person or persons, aren’t there institutions that are presently fighting the war on corruption? The EFCC, DSS, Police? He questioned.

“That administrative step should not be in public domain, it is not our business,” Oloyede added.

According to him, “the important thing now is that once a person is suspended, the EFCC should do their work.

“Let them investigate this person, just like they are investigating and charging other people to court. Why have two sets of rules for the same kind of crimes.”

He holds the belief that since the AGF had absolved the SGF before, he could easily do same this time around as he would not want to double speak. However, if he does otherwise, then his previous report would be questioned.

“If he says this man is guilty as charged, then we’ll say where did you get your false report before, why didn’t you do a thorough investigation? The chief law officer, involved in double speak, that is untoward,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, other reactions have continued to trail the suspension. The Chairman of the Senate’s Ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian crises in the North East, Shehu Sani, however, stated that the suspension of Mr Babachir Lawal will not interrupt its ongoing investigation of the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Updated: Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal.

President Buhari has also ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the SGF in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Also, pending the outcome of the 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 state, the President has suspended the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.

This was made known in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

According to the statement, 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.

Emotional Moment

A three-man Committee comprising the Honorable 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 expected to submit its report to the President within 14 days.

In the interim, 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, Mr. Osinbajo has held a closed door meeting with the SGF, Mr. Lawal. The NIA DG, Mr. Oke, who had been turned back earlier, in an emotion-laden moment and denied attempts to speak with the VP, was later granted an audience.