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.

Saraki Urges UN To Lift Suspension On Aid Deliveries

United Nations, Bukola SarakiSenate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has appealed to the United Nations to lift its suspension on aid deliveries in Nigeria.

UN made the announcement after a humanitarian aid convoy from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was attacked while travelling from Bama to Maiduguri in Borno State.

In a statement by his spokesman, Senator Saraki condemned the attack, stating that it was unacceptable to endanger the lives of aid workers who were only trying to assuage the situation in Nigeria’s Northeast.

He further called for an immediate review of the security situation in the region by the relevant authorities.

The Senate President stressed that it was necessary to alleviate the concerns of international partners who are set to help rebuild the crisis-torn areas.

With the temporary suspension of UN’s activities in the region, Dr. Saraki called on the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to immediately address the shortfall that could arise from the cessation of donations of food and medicines.

He appealed to the UN to resume its activities in Northeast as soon as possible, while reassuring Nigerians and the international community that the Senate would fast-track the passage of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Bill.

The NEDC Bill aims to create a legislative framework and multi-state platform for the coordination of relief and donations to the northeast zone.