Thursday 27th April, 2017
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WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION: FG begins probe of Lawal, Ayo Oke

WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION: FG begins probe of Lawal, Ayo Oke

· Osinbajo meets IGP, DSS boss, others
 
The Federal Govern­ment has commenced its investigation of allegations of graft against the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Fed­eration (SGF), Mr David Ba­bachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelli­gence Agency (NIA), Ambas­sador Ayo Oke.
The probe comes on the heels of President Muham­madu Buhari’s deft move on Wednesday to revive his wan­ing war against corruption by dropping the two top gov­ernment officials suspected of wrong-doing.
Vice President Yemi Osin­bajo, the Chairman of the probe panel, met yesterday with some senior security chiefs and oth­er government officials as he stepped up the investigation into the corruption allegations against Lawal and Oke.
 
The other members of the panel are the Attorney Gener­al of the Federation and Minis­ter of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the National Security Ad­viser, Babagana Monguno.
The suspended duo of La­wal and Oke appeared before the panel on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa to give their evidence – behind closed doors.
Other top government offi­cials and security chief who ap­peared before the panel yester­day were the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.
The panel also met with the two officials appointed to act in place of Lawal and Oke during the period of their suspension.
These are Ambassador Arab Yadam as the acting DG of the NIA and Dr Habibat Lawal, the acting SGF.
Also at the Villa was the Ag. Chairman of the EFCC, Ibra­him Magu, whose agency un­covered the stash of cash hid­den in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Magu said he was at the Vil­la for a meeting of the Assets Recovery Committee, which had been sitting long before the current probe panel. He did not clarify if the latest stash of cash uncovered by his commission has also come under the pur­view of the Assets Recovery Committee.
 
After the meeting with Os­inbajo, the DSS boss and the Attorney-General of the Fed­eration proceeded for another meeting with Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
Meanwhile, Adamawa State Governor, Jibrila Bindow, was also seen at the Presidential Vil­la, although it was not immedi­ately ascertained if he met with Osinbajo or the Chief of Staff to President.
It is believed that the gov­ernor’s visit may not be uncon­nected with the suspension and travail of the SGF who hails from Adamawa State.
Lawal and Oke were sus­pended by the Presidency on Wednesday – pending an inves­tigation into the cases against them.
Buhari suspended Lawal following allegations of misap­propriation of funds levelled against him in the award of contracts under the Presiden­tial Initiative on the North East (PINE).
Lawal is alleged to be in­volved in the award of a dubi­ous contract of N250 million for grass cutting in the North­east – to companies related to him.
Similarly, the erstwhile DG of the NIA, Ambassador Oke, is to explain how a huge stash of cash in local and hard cur­rencies was recently found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a posh private residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The NIA boss reported­ly claimed that the money, to­talling over N15 billion, was owned by the agency. Oke is to explain 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, etc. Several other interested parties are also re­portedly laying claims to the money.
 
The Osinbajo Committee is to submit its report to the Pres­ident within 14 days.

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