Presidency May Not Reinstate Suspended SGF, NIA Boss
The Presidency has ruled out the possibility of reinstating the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who were both suspended from office recently.
A source in the presidency told SUNDAY PUNCH in Abuja on Saturday that they were both indicted in the report of the presidential investigative panel that probed them.
The source explained that the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is the chairman of the panel would have presented the report to President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday but for the President’s journey to London for medical consultation.
The source, who is conversant with the arrangement, told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that in case Buhari tarries in his return to the country, Osinbajo will act on the report and a decision would be made public soon.
He said the decision to make the report public was arrived at before the President travelled.
The source added, “The panel’s report was ready since last Wednesday. It was the formal presentation that was fixed for Monday. That has been overtaken by event with the President’s journey.
“Before the President travelled however, he met with the Acting President on many issues, including this one in question.
“An understanding was reached on the position to take. That decision will soon be made public. It is just a matter of time.
“The President can return any time. The Acting President can also announce the decision in case the President did not return on time.”
When asked if it is appropriate for Osinbajo who led the panel to be the one that will implement the report, the source said, “He chaired the panel as the Vice President and now, he is the Acting President. Besides, the decision was arrived at in consultation with the President. It is a government decision.”
When further asked if there was any possibility that Oke and Lawal might be given a clean bill of health, the source said, “as a matter of fact, their case is a done deal.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, could not be reached on the telephone for comment as of the time of filing this report .
The Osinbajo panel also had the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as members.
The panel investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East, while it probed Oke on the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, for which NIA is laying claim.
The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East had also indicted the suspended SGF on the same matter.
The panel was said to have considered the Senate report alongside its own investigation in arriving at a conclusion on Lawal’s case.