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Group asks presidency to publish probe report on SGF, NIA DG

Group asks presidency to publish probe report on SGF, NIA DG
October 19
17:17 2017
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Say No Campaign, a civil society organisation (CSO), has asked the presidency to publish the report of investigation of alleged fraud against some suspended top government officials.

Ezenwa Nwagwu, convener of the organisation, told reporters in Abuja that Babachir Lawal, former secretary to government of the federation (SGF), and Ayo Oke, former director-general, National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Nwagwu said the issue had remained a secret to Nigerians in spite of the huge amount of $43 million involved in the NIA allegation, which was investigated by committee headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

He said there had been no reaction from the presidency since the report of the investigation was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, no course of action has been initiated by the federal government on the outcome of the investigation except that Oke remained suspended and presumably still earning salary.

Nwagwu said it was similar situation with the case of alleged fraud of N270 million for grass-cutting against Lawal.

“What remains unclear is why the president instituted a panel to conduct the investigation, and why the EFCC was not directed to handle the cases from beginning,” he said.

“Regardless of these anomalies, the president maintains silence, making justice to remain delayed and the anti-corruption fight, led by the president, himself, in jeopardy.

“While the desire of the current regime to fight corruption is unequivocally stated, the mannerism or body language of the chief executive, in the face of corruption allegation against certain public officials within inner circle, betrays this noble intent.

“The reality of seemingly protecting ‘sacred cows’ stares us right in the face and thus has become difficult to ignore.”

Nwagwu said it was becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the self-serving criticism of the corrupt opposition that the anti-corruption fight of present administration was selective or targeted only at the opposition.

Jaiye Gaskiya, a co-convener of the group, called for the suspension of inspector-general of police to enable the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate corruption allegations against him.

Gaskiya deplored the prevailing situation where “rather than suspending the IGP pending the outcome of an investigation, the government decided to take the whistleblower to court’’.

“What is even more worrisome about all these is that the Attorney-General of the Federation would take on the task of suing on behalf of an individual against another individual.

“The above issues involved massive amounts of money and has equally garnered enough public outcry such that the president cannot afford to remain quite on those matters any longer.

The group urged the EFCC, Independent Corruption Practices and Allied Offences Commission (ICPC) and the police to take up their constitutional roles of investigating cases of corruption regardless of the position of the public official.

It also urged the judiciary to be positioned and supported to deliver justice without fear or favour.

The organisation added that the executive and legislature should provide support for the implementation and enforcement of recent directives of the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the resolutions of the National Judicial Commission (NJC).

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