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Babachir, Oke remain suspended –Presidency

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.Govt to mark Democracy Day with update on Social Investment Programmes

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Presidency on Sunday said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke, remained suspended from their offices.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on April 19, suspended the two government officials and constituted a three-man committee led by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate them.

The panel investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East while it probed 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 NIA is laying claim.

The committee which has the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as members was billed to submit its report to Buhari on May 8 but could not do so because the President left the country on March 7 for medical follow-up in London.

The situation led to anxiety among Nigerians who have been wondering if Osinbajo will implement the report of the panel which he chaired.

But Akande urged Nigerians to be patient, saying the outcome of the panel would be made public at the appropriate time.

He also assured them that the outcome will satisfy Nigerians.

“Regarding media inquiries on the progress of the report of the presidential investigative panel, Akande urged for patience, explaining that when the time comes, the outcome of the panel would be made manifestly public and Nigerians would be satisfied. He said the two suspended officials remain suspended,” the statement read.

Akande also disclosed that as part of activities to commemorate the second anniversary of the of present administration, a report card on the Social Investment Programmes would be held on May 29 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“Here at this national event, we shall be updating Nigerians on the progress so far attained, how we are addressing some challenges and how President Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes would be significantly expanded going forward,” Akande noted.

The SIPs are the N-Power, which selected and engaged 200,000 unemployed Nigerians graduates for a volunteer job programmers, the Conditional Cash Transfer being implemented now in nine states, General Economic & Empowerment Programme -a micro credit scheme that has given out almost 60,000 loans out already, and the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, where 25 million meals have been served and over and million primary school pupils in at least seven states are being fed and over 11,000 cooks hired.

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