Ikoyigate: Senate to expose suspended SGF’s collaborators
*Osinbajo committee will end up a ‘family affair’
Nigerian Senate has vowed to expose officials who profited from embattled Engineer Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federations (SGF) in the grass cutting scandal, if the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo’s committee’s proceedings are conducted in a closed session.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo released details of how the committee raised by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the SGF and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, will operate in carrying out its mandate.
The VP said all proceedings will, however, be in closed sessions to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure and enhance the pace of proceedings.
But, Shehu Sani, Senator representing Kaduna Central, in an interview with journalists at a graduation ceremony of 100 women empowerment programme in tailoring, fashion design and catering on Monday in Kaduna, said if Mr. Osinbajo’s committee has chosen to conduct a close session, “Senate committee will be an open session”.
Sani is the Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crises in the North-East, whose interim report, indicted Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East.
“I will provide the general public all the documents which we have and to which we have used to indict public officials who profited in the SGF’s grass cutting scandal,” he said.
Osinbajo has said that, the panel would “obtain and scrutinise documents that may throw some light on the issues raised in both case.”
However, Sani also expressed doubt saying that, inasmuch as he supported the president’s action, “ I am a bit very reserved in terms of setting up a committee.
“I have the fear that Osinbajo’s committee will end up as in-house, as a family affair as they used to say,” the Senator added.
Osinbajo had said through a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande that the committee would “invite all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases.”
The Senator also observed that there is no way Nigeria can fight corruption without an empowered people.
“You can’t fight corruption when there is so much poverty in the society. You need to economically support those who are vulnerable to temptation to support corrupt people,” he said.
Sani said it is by empowering women that we can empower, build and free our society from poverty. “So, we committed a lot of time to train women.
“Time has gone when young people will aimlessly wait for jobs that don’t come. I think this is the time for young people to be part of the process,” he added.