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.

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.

Buhari Approves New Board For NTA, Others

Buhari at his office The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has a new board led by a former Newspaper Editor and former Presidential Spokesman, Mr Duro Onabule.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday approved the new board which consists of six other Executive Directors.

They are: Dr. Steve Egbo, Administration and Training; Abdul Hamid Salihu Dembos, Marketing; Mohammed Labbo, News; Fatima M. Barda, Finance; Stephen Okoanachi, Engineering; and Wole Coker, Programmes.

Some other appointments were also announced in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“At the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Aliyu Hayatu is new chairman, while Buhari Auwalu and Yinka Amosun, are Zonal Directors, Kaduna and Lagos, respectively.

“Under the Ministry of Information and Culture, the following agencies have new appointees: Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chika Maduekwe, General Manager; National Theatre and National Troupe of Nigeria, Comrade Tar Ukoh, Artistic Director; National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General; National Film and Video Censors Board, Folorunsho Coker, Director-General,” the statement read.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will also serve as the Chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while Mr Mustapha Maihaja is to serve as the agency’s Director-General.

According to the statement, other members of the NEMA Board are: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir Lawal; Captain Talba Alkali, representing Ministry of Transport and Aviation; Ambassador Rabiu Dagari, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Ngozi Azadoh, Ministry of Health; Mr Muhammadu Maccido, Ministry of Interior; Mr Ajisegiri Benson Akinloye; Ministry of Water Resources, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, Nigerian Armed Forces; and AIG Salisu Fagge Abdullahi, Nigerian Police Force”.

The President’s spokesman said the appointments are to take immediate effect.