Babachir Lawal: What's Next After The Sack?
News broke on Monday afternoon that President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.
Also sacked was the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ayodele Oke, but that was not as anticipated as Babachir’s.
If you’re just joining the story, this is good news for those who have been on Buhari’s neck to prove to Nigerians that his anti-corruption fight is indeed not biased by going hard on one of his own.
Mr Lawal was suspended on April 19, 2017 after he was indicted for his involvement in the 200 million Naira contract scam that rocked the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).
The Senate had earlier indicted Lawal in an interim report submitted by the Senator Shehu Sani-led committee. He was indicted for breaching relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
He allegedly violated the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations on the award of contracts under PINE.
This and many allegations were raised against the man with no action from his boss and one wondered if he was one of the so-called untouchables in Aso Rock.
Buhari later caved in to pressure and suspended him while constituting a three-man panel under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to further investigate the SGF.
Counting from May 3 when Osinbajo submitted the panel’s report, it took President Buhari six months to make a definite decision on the matter.ALSO READ: Suspended SGF To Face Senate Today
At some point, there were even fears that the Aso Rock rodents might have eaten the report of the panel which probed the suspended SGF and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.
Oke had also been suspended after his agency claimed ownership of the monies discovered in an Ikoyi apartment.
It must be said, however, that President Buhari’s illness and prolonged treatment in the UK must have contributed to the delayed action of the matter.
Finally, with their sack on Monday, October 30, 2017, one can safely say Osinbajo’s panel also found him culpable.
There is no way the mismanagement of funds earmarked for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the Northeast should be pardonable.
This must be why the Nigerian Senate in May 2017 demanded for his prosecution while Osinbajo’s report was being expected.
Mr Lawal’s attitude also did not help matters after spurning the Senate panel’s invitation twice.
Also, after his suspension was announced by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina and he was asked to comment on his suspension, he asked the reporters “who is the Presidency”?
Now that Mr Boss Gida Mustapha has been appointed new SGF, what is next?
The media, Senate, opposition parties, civil society and all Nigerians are eagerly awaiting how long it will take President Muhammadu Buhari to invite the EFCC into the matter.
This, definitely, is one corruption case that must not be swept under the carpet, particularly for the large sums of tax payers’ monies that have gone into rehabilitating IDPs and rebuilding northeast Nigeria.
It is annoying to read that some politicians, rather than do the needful, are busy feeding fat on funds meant for victims of Boko Haram.