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 As the momentum gathered storm, strong indications
emerged yesterday following the intervention of powerful Nigerians in the
ongoing face-off between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,
SGF, David Babachir Lawal, and the Senate over the controversial grass-cutting
contract scandal, Lawal may have made another u-turn about his earlier position
not to appear before the Senate, justifying his earlier position as being in
court already, and not wanting to fall into the cub-wed that will amount to
contempt of the court proceedings.

SGF Engr Babachir David Lawal The
Senate had, Tuesday, in a letter dated March 15, 2017 and signed by Chairman,
Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East,
Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), asked the SGF to appear before it
yesterday, as part of moves to get his side on the ongoing investigation into
claims that funds earmarked for the humanitarian crisis in the North-East were
mismanaged.

 Urban express news online gathered, yesterday,
that the government was surprised that such a letter came from the SGF when the
system was already being overheated following the case of the acting chairman
of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, whose confirmation
as substantive chairman was rejected by the Senate as well as the fight between
senators and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali
(retd).

Noting that the SGF’s stance would
further make the polity tensed, the source said some very powerful Nigerians
pleaded with the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and Senate leader,
Senator Ahmad Lawan to give the embattled SGF soft landing. Thereafter, Lawal
was then advised to withdraw the earlier letter that had to do with him going
to court. Following the intervention, the SGF, made a U- turn, saying that he
could not appear before the lawmakers yesterday because he had a pressing
government engagement.

In a letter dated March 23, 2017
and addressed to the Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian
Crisis in the North East, entitled, “Re: Invitation for Public Hearing,” he
said: “I wish to kindly request to draw the attention of the other members of
the committee that I will not be able to appear before the committee primarily
because of a pressing engagement of government, which clashed with the date and
time of the hearing.

 I kindly request a rescheduling of the
hearing, please.” Briefing newsmen on the development, Senator Shehu Sani,
confirmed receiving a letter from the SGF explaining his inability to honour
his committee’s invitation, adding that the nation’s scribe would soon be
re-invited for a re-scheduled public hearing soon. His words: “Meanwhile, you
should understand that we are not investigating the SGF alone. We are
investigating contracts that were awarded under the Presidential Initiative on the
North East, PINE, and over 20 companies were involved. We could not trace
addresses of companies awarded contracts’’ Senator Sani expressed shock that
his committee could not verify addresses of companies awarded the controversial
contracts, describing the development as not only shocking but also strange. 

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