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Buhari suspends SGF, NIA DG as Osinbajo heads probe panel


President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation, and Ayo Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), pending the outcome of investigations.

This was disclosed in a press statement on Wednesday by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is to head a three-man panel to probe the allegations.

In December, the senate had called for the resignation of Lawal after its committee on the humanitarian crisis in the north-east indicted him of corruption.

There was public outcry over the refusal of the president to take action on the resolution of the upper legislative chamber.‎

“President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-east (PINE),” the statement by Adesina read.

“The president has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.”

Buhari also ordered an investigation into the discovery of huge stash of monies at a flat in a luxury Ikoyi building by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“In a related development, the president has ordered a full scale 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, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim,” the statement read.

“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.

“The president has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.

“A three-man committee comprising the Hon 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 to submit its report to the president within 14 days.

“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.”

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