*Despite President Buhari’s clearance of the SGF
By Sandra Onyekwere
Engineer Babachir David Lawal, the Secretary to the government of the Federation, has been summoned to appear before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating him over mismanagement of internally displaced persons (IDP) funds.
In a letter addressed to the SGF dated 15th of March, 2017 signed by the ad-hoc committee chairman, Senator Shehu Sani, Lawal is expected to appear as part of the ongoing investigation of mismanagement of funds against him.
The Ad-hoc Committee’s expectation was for the SGF to respond to pertinent issues bordering alleged mismanagement of IDP funds which was believed to be responsible for the current humanitarian crisis in the North-East.
The letter reads: “The Senate at its sitting on 4th October, 2016 debated on a motion “mounting humanitarian crisis in the north east” after which an ad-hoc committee was constituted among other things.
“The committee was to conduct a public hearing in order to ascertain how much has been released to the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) and also to ascertain how these funds have been utilised from inception to date.
“The committee was also expected to investigate the diversion of grains and other food items from the Strategic Grain Reserves, NEMA and other sources for the IDPs.
“Consequently, the committee held a three day public hearing between 6th to 8th December, 2016, even though some of the invited stakeholders refused to attend. In order to give them a fair hearing, the committee has resolved to conduct another public hearing. You are hereby invited once more to the public hearing.”
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had in January, written to the Senate clearing Engineer Babachir David Lawal of wrong doings, particularly giving him the opportunity to defend himself.
Consequent upon that, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, mandated the committee to carryout a fresh public hearing and invite relevant stakeholders, including the SGF to defend themselves.