Buhari Wields The Big Stick, Suspends SGF, DG NIA

In a swift move that has everyone perplexed, President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr David Babachir Lawal.

The President took the decision to ax the SGF over allegations of award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE). The Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, was also asked to go on suspension.‎

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Wednesday, President Buhari directed that Lawal will remain suspended pending the outcome of the investigation which bothers on alleged violations of law and due process made against the SGF in the award of the contracts.

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.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed that the NIA DG remains suspended until 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.

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