Senate welcomes sack of Babachir Lawal
The Senate says sack of former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, has vindicated its position on investigation carried out by its Ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East.
It urged other committees charged with the responsibility of investigating other alleged corrupt matters in the country to expedite action and report to the Senate for further action.
This followed a Point of Order by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Sen. Bala Na’Allah, at plenary on Tuesday.
Quoting Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule, 2015 as amended, Na’ Allah said efforts by some disgruntled Nigerians to drag the name of the Senate in the mud had been defeated.
He said: “As a leader, I am proud of this Senate and I believe in the integrity of every senator in this assembly.
“We cannot claim not to know that between yesterday and today there has been official confirmation of a new SGF and termination of appointment of the former SGF.
“If we religiously keep to the oath of office taken, those who try to bring down the image of the Senate will continue to watch God vindicate us.
“The issue surrounding the termination of the appointment of the former SGF emanated from this 8th Senate and today we have been vindicated.
`Also, the issue of Maina emanated from this Senate. Can we now not have the authority to shout a sound of vindication,’’ he said.
The leader of the Senate said the resolve of the red chamber of the National Assembly to complement the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption and in defence of the constitution would continue no matter the distraction.
“Section 80 sub-sections 2b, says the powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to make laws within its legislative competence.
“ The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are also exercisable to correct any defects in existing laws and expose corruption or inefficiency.
“When we started this crusade, the same Nigerians we were fighting for, became gullible and were sponsored to close the gate of the National Assembly in the name of `Occupy NASS’.
“Every conceivable thing was done to bring down the name of this assembly, individually and collectively. In fact, some of us were called names in the social media,’’ he said.
The lawmaker urged his colleagues to bear in mind that the task before them in the protection of the constitution and the laws of the federation was a huge one.
He expressed his unfettered commitment to the Senate. He, however, called for expedited action on other investigations pending before committees of the Senate.
He urged Nigerians not to fall for any form of manipulation by some unpatriotic Nigerians, adding that “it does them no good to embark on degradation of institutions, especially the national assembly.
“Those who found wisdom in spending money to spread falsehood to demean the national assembly should know that they are doing no good to the over 170 million Nigerians we represent.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for heeding to the call of the Senate.
He said though it was difficult for Nigerians to believe the position of the Senate in the investigation, he was elated that its position was vindicated by the sack of the former SGF.
“It was a very tough journey ensuring that we continued to defend the integrity of this institution. I want to commend the president for doing what is right.
“When we started it was more of blackmail but the right thing has been done and we will continue to adhere to our commitment to non-selective fight against corruption.
“I want to say to Nigerians that as part of our constitutional responsibility to expose corruption, cases and evidences should be brought before us and we assure that we will investigate and expose them.
“We are not afraid of anyone in doing our job and we have made that clear over time,’’ he said.
Saraki also called on committees whose investigation in alleged corrupt practices by agencies and individuals were pending to complete investigation and submit their reports.
Besides, he called on Nigerian youths not to fall gullible to the antics of some corrupt Nigerians, who were bent on using them for their selfish interests.
The Senate had, following the investigation by its Ad Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East, headed by Sen. Shehu Sani, called for the resignation and prosecution of the dismissed SGF.
This followed his alleged complicity in the diversion of North-East humanitarian funds. Babachir was alleged to have contravened the provisions of Public Procurement Act and the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations pertaining to the award of contracts.
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