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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, as well as the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayodele Oke.
Presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, in a statement issued on Wednesday, explained that the suspension of the SGF was due to the allegations of violations of law and due process made against him in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East, PINE.
Recall that the Senate had accused SGF Lawal of awarding contracts to companies where he had vested interests, which is contrary to public service regulations.
The SGF denied any wrong doing, saying that the Senate did not invite him to state his own side of the story.
Oke’s suspension, on the other hand, is in relation to 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, which the NIA said belonged to it.
President Buhari, according to Adesina, has ordered a full scale investigation into the incident, to establish amongst other things, “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 … whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.”
“A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (Abubakar Malami), and the National Security Adviser (Babagana Monguno), headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.
“The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days,” the statement read.
Buhari directed that 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.”