Osinbajo panel meets as PDP seeks independent probe of Babachir, Oke
• Dissolve PACAC, Sani urges Buhari • Group lauds suspension
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led presidential committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. David Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ambassador Ayo Oke over sundry allegations met again yesterday.
The panel first met briefly on Wednesday after President Buhari announced its constitution. Those at the meeting with Vice President Osinbajo were the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General (rtd) Babagana Monguno; Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Lawan Daura; Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the acting DG of the NIA, Arab Yadam as well as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu who were said to have been co-opted by the committee.
The meeting is coming as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday passed a vote of no confidence on the committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate alleged misdeeds of SGF and DG of NIA).
The suspension of the two government officials on Wednesday, came with the setting up of a three man committee.A statement issued by the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP caretaker committee yesterday described the action of the President as “another ruse to deceive Nigerians and dress up the failed anti corruption war in a new garb.”
Calling for the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry to carry out the investigation, the PDP also declared that it was “alarmed at the suspension of the SGF at a time that Nigerians and the international community are excitedly enjoying the theater of the absurd playing out with the recovery of huge sums of money without owners.”
The party wondered how the Attorney General of the Federation who had earlier investigated the allegations against Babachir and cleared him could do anything different in the current assignment.
According to the statement signed by the spokesman of the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, the president’s action in appointing members of the cabinet to carry out the investigation suggested that there was an agenda to compromise the probe even before it gets started.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
Sani, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said the suspension of the SGF was a clear indication that the committee, which once defended the SGF, is not competent. and irrelevant assemblage.’’
Also, an anti corruption group, Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance, (COCMEGG) said the suspension has rekindled the hopes of Nigerians on PresidentMuhammadu Buhari’s resolve to salvage Nigeria from the clutches of corrupt public officials in high places.
A statement by the group in Abuja yesterday by signed by Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele and Comrade James Okoronkwo, President and Secretary respectively, stated that, “the disgraced Secretary to the Government of the Federation almost jeopardized President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war through his alleged corrupt tendencies within the period he was in office” and lauded the President for shoving him out of office.
The group claimed that the SGF’s ouster may not be unconnected with the recent removal of the heads of parastatals and MDA’s saying that “Nigerians were particularly pained with the unceremonious removal from office of the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu whose tenure, it further claimed, witnessed unprecedented revival of the ailing pension industry. “The pension fund asset base was 2.5 trillion naira but was grown to 6.5 trillion in less than four years of her tenure”