No Soft Landing For SGF, Oke – Probe Panel

The presidential panel probing allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, again yesterday ruled out soft landing for both. A source privy to the investigations told our correspondent that the panel would not give anybody soft landing. “The panel…”
Moroti Olatujoye
April 29, 2017 11:27 pm

The presidential panel probing allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, again yesterday ruled out soft landing for both.

A source privy to the investigations told our correspondent that the panel would not give anybody soft landing.

“The panel is handling both issues with utmost diligence irrespective of the personalities of those involved,” he said.

That came as the panel’s chairman, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the members-National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, resumed sitting yesterday.

They met for over six hours to examine various documents and other information obtained so far.

Babachir is being probed over alleged violation of the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-east. A Senate ad-hoc committee had earlier found him culpable of alleged complicity in a N200m grass-cutting contract to clear “invasive plant species” in Yobe State.

Oke is being investigated over claims made by the NIA to the $43.4m and other currencies stashed away in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

No government official was seen before the panel as at 7:40pm yesterday when our correspondent left the vice president’s wing of the Presidential Villa where the panel is sitting.

Apart from Babachir and Oke, officials of the  Bureau of Public Procurement, the agency responsible for vetting government contracts above N50m, have also been quizzed by the panel which is expected to round off its 14-day assignment next Wednesday.

The panel is enquiring into the circumstances in which the NIA came about the money, how and by whose or which authority it was made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there had been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Wednesday ordered the investigations and suspended the NIA Director-General, Ambassador Ayo Oke and Babachir pending the outcome of the investigations.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, had last Friday specifically furnished the panel with information on the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the money in Ikoyi.

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