I am not aware of my suspension – Babachir Lawal
*How he was suspended inside Osinbajo’s office
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has insisted he is not aware of his suspension. His suspension was announced while he was holding a meeting with Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
When he was asked by journalists to react to his suspension, he responded “who announced it?”. When he was told that it was the presidency, Lawal replied “then ask them. Why are you asking me? Who is the presidency?”
The SGF was told about the press release signed by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina and he said: “I have not seen it. I should have been given. I have not seen the press release, so I cannot comment on it.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against him, with regard to the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
The statement made available to www.gongnews.net read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
“The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.
In a related development, the President has ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.
“The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.
“The President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.
“The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.
“The most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.”
Last month, Lawal insisted he is innocent of the allegations levelled against him over the N1.3billion grass-cutting contract.
Lawal was in a meeting with the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, in his office, when the Presidency suspended him. There are speculations that the SGF was being advised about the decision and told not to take it personal with President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is understood that Lawal was reportedly suspended, because Buhari is perceived to be losing his fight against corruption, with some of his key appointees facing allegations from several quarters.
Osinbajo also told him pointedly that the outcome of the investigation will determine his fate.