Osinbajo-led Panel set to sack Babachir, Oke over corruption charges

Osinbajo-led Panel set to sack Babachir, Oke over corruption charges

The Yemi Osinbajo-led committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the allegations of corruption against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayo Oke has recommended that they be replaced, a report by Daily Trust says.

President Buhari had suspended both Babachir and Oke and set up a three-man committee to investigate the allegations levelled against them.

The other men on the committee, besides Acting President Osinbajo, are the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami.

Babachir was accused of awarding contracts worth millions to a company Global Vision Limited, in which he had interest, under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Oke was investigated after the NIA claimed ownership of the $43.4 million cash found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at apartment 7B in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, saying its release was on the orders of the previous administration.

However, details of the said money was not given to the new administration.

A senior government official confirmed the report of the committee, saying:

The report of the investigations is ready. The two suspended officials were recommended for total disengagement and replacement.

It is clearly stated in the report that they should not be brought back to their positions. They are to be disengaged as recommended.

As promised, the committee gave fair hearing to all the parties involved. It was a thorough investigation.

You would recall that the investigation was slightly extended beyond the two-week period which Mr President gave the committee.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, had said in a statement that the panel was scheduled to submit its report to President Buhari on Monday, May 8.

The President had however left the country for London for his medical vacation on May 7.

Asked why the panel had refused to act on the report, a source close to the Acting President, who asked to be anonymous, had said:

Natural justice demands that the acting president should not be the one to act on the report because he is the chairman of the panel. And if he had acted on it, the same people who are complaining now would have still raised an issue.

The source also claimed that both Babachir and Oke, making their appearances before the panel, had implicated other top government officials.

The source had refused to mention the names of the government officials, but claimed they were highly ranked officials in the government.

However, those known to have made an appearance before the panel include: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mamman Ahmadu along with other officials of the agency as well as some members of the Presidential Initiative on North-East, and the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

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