Presidency may initiate fresh investigation of SGF, Babachir Lawal

David Babachir Lawal

David Babachir Lawal

The presidency may initiate fresh investigations into the allegations leveled against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, following an uproar in the Senate over a letter written by President Muhammadu Buhari to clear him.

Yesterday, a presidency source said the letter to the Senate rejecting its recommendation to remove and prosecute the SGF, “was not an indication of the president’s attitude or ultimate decision on the substantive allegations against him.

Buhari’s letter to the Senate, the source said left open “the conclusion of the matter by other means.”

Last Tuesday, there was palpable anger from senators over Buhari’s letter which one of them, Shehu Sani, said was full of lies.

But presidency sources yesterday said that President Buhari’s letter did not mean he was done with the investigation of the said allegations or that he has condoned such alleged corrupt actions by the SGF.

“What this means is that the president wants to be able to handle the matter on his own terms, based purely on proper adherence to extant public rules and procedures relating to abuse of office by public officers.

“If he is going to discipline his own appointee, he would rather do it properly, not railroaded. No one should be in doubt of the resolve of Mr. President to sustain his long-held reputation for integrity and his zero-level tolerance for corruption. But things must be done properly, and seen to be so. And that is what the president is keen on ensuring.

“Actually the president had expected the Senate to conclude its report substantively and tender a full report, while he continues his own investigation through a team he had set up to review the matter, with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. (The President referred to that review team in his letter.)’’

A presidency source said the President is determined that his administration will get to the root of the matter, considering the weight of the allegations.

In the letter to the Senate, the president noted that a final report “ought to have been presented to the Senate in plenary for adoption as a binding and final report before submission to the presidency given the weight of allegations in the report.”



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