Sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General Ayo Oke are to be quizzed by the anti-graft agencies.
After the Presidency announced the officers’ sack yesterday, there were calls that they be handed over to the anti-graft agencies.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s position “is that investigation agencies which have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance”.
“The President, who is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution will not stop the investigation of anyone because he has no such power under our laws. This is a decision of the Supreme Court,” Shehu said, adding: “The President under our laws can, through the Attorney General, enter a nolle prosequi to stop an ongoing trial. He may, upon conviction, order a pardon.
“Beyond these, the President cannot order investigation agencies to not investigate anyone and does not intend to do in this, or any other circumstance.
“Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the President expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations..
“When and where they have reasonable grounds to charge former or serving officers to court\
Lawal was suspended on April 19, following allegation of misappropriation of fund meant for development of the Northeast .
The President based his decision on the report of the three- man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which probed corruption allegations against the two officials.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina who announced the decision, said Buhari accepted the recommendation of the Osinbajo panel to terminate Lawal’s appointment.
The President appointed Boss Mustapha as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The appointment, according to the statement, takes immediate effect.
President Buhari also approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke and the setting up of a three-member panel to, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the Agency and make appropriate recommendations. The names of the members of the panel were not given.
Until yesterday, Mustapha, a lawyer and politician, was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Lawal was alleged to have engaged in misappropriation of funds and lack of due process in the Presidential Initiative North East (PINE) which focuses on the redevelopment and humanitarian crisis caused largely by the Boko Haram menace in that region.