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Suspended SGF: Osinbajo panel may consider Senate report

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OLALEKAN ADETAYO

The presidential committee, which is currently investigating the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ayo Oke, and the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, will consider the Senate report on Lawal in deciding his fate, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

The panel chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was set up to investigate allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative for the North-East.

It is also to investigate Oke on the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, for which the NIA is laying claim.

The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East had indicted the suspended SGF for mismanagement.

The investigative panel specifically asked relevant agencies to prosecute the suspended SGF for allegedly awarding contracts worth N500m through the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, a rehabilitation programme under his office, to a company in which he had interests.

This was part of the recommendations in the final report by the panel, which was laid before the Senate by its Chairman, Senator Shehu Sani, at the plenary on Wednesday.

A top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Saturday that the Osinbajo panel that has the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), as members, would consider the Senate report in reaching a conclusion on Lawal.

The source confirmed that the panel was in possession of the Senate interim report and sought for the final report from the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

He said, “I am aware that the presidential investigative panel is in possession of the Senate committee’s interim report on the suspended SGF.

“I am also aware that the panel asked for the final report from the Senate, but I can’t say at this time if it has been made available.”

When asked if the Osinbajo panel will rely on the Senate report in taking a decision on Lawal, the source explained, “What I can say is that if the panel does not need the report, it won’t have demanded for it. It will surely consider the report and rely on it to some levels.

“But you also know that the panel itself has been working and investigating for two weeks. So, whatever is in the Senate report will only assist the members in arriving at a decision that is just and fair on the matter.”

The committee is scheduled to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, had confirmed this in a one-paragraph statement made available to journalists on Wednesday.

In its final report, the Senate panel had, among others, recommended that “all resources that have been misapplied or stolen by public officials should be retrieved and anybody found culpable of contravening any of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations, pertaining to the award of these contracts, should be duly prosecuted by the relevant authorities.

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