20170511

Ikoyi Billions: Update On SGF Lawal and DG of NIA

Suspended Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) DG, Ayo Oke are to be relieved of their duties.

It was learnt that this is the outcome of the probe into the issues in which the two top government officials were involved.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo led the three-man committee that investigated the two officials. The other members are Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Babagana Munguno.

A massive shake-up has been planned for the NIA and the SGF’s office.

Official sources said the government would soon release the findings and recommendations of the Presidential Investigative Committee, whose report was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari before his medical follow-up trip abroad last Sunday.

Lawal was probed for alleged N200million contract awarded to a company, Global Vision Limited, linked with him by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) to clear “invasive plant species” (weeds) in Yobe State.

Oke is being investigated for the $43.4million recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at Apartment 7B Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

It was gathered that the Presidency decided to drop Lawal and Oke “based on security reports and some fact-sheets” available to it.

According to The Nation, a source, who pleaded not to be named, said the government has started shopping for those to replace the two officials.

The source said: “There were a few administrative errors allegedly traced to the affected officers. These lapses made their return to their duty posts unlikely.

“Some of the findings by the Osinbajo Panel have also made their return impossible.

“Going by the controversy surrounding the cash haul and the PINE contracts, no serious government will reinstate such officers. Public opinion also does not favour them.”

Also, “the issues at stake are not about individuals but how to effect reforms in NIA and the OSGF. The Presidency will need to put some checks in the system to avoid a repeat of the [abuses].”

Some forces are however making a strong case for the NIA DG and soft landing for the SGF.