Presidency yesterday hinted
that the controversial Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),
David Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence
Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, have
been placed under surveillance, following their suspension by President
Urban Express news online gathered that
the movement of the duo are being close circuit, as investigation into their
Sources explained that the reason
the Presidency did not give the duo prior notice of their suspension was to ensure
It was gathered that Oke was
invited to the Presidential Villa, but first denied access to Vice President
Yemi Osinbajo, until the press release of his suspension was released. When he
returned thereafter, he met with Osinbajo.
On his part, Lawal was with
Osinbajo when the release on his suspension was handed to journalists.
Sources said despite the watch on
Lawal and Oke they are not under any restriction.
The SGF and Oke were suspended from
office, yesterday, by President Muhammadu Buhari, who also ordered their
investigation over alleged involvement in corruption.
Their suspension, which would last
pending the outcome of the investigations, was contained in statement issued by
the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.
The SGF is being investigated
following allegations that he violated law and due process in the award of
contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
Global Vision Ltd., owned by the
SGF, was indicted by the Senate last December for benefiting from inflated and
phantom contracts- or ones not executed at all- awarded by PINE.
Laval’s firm allegedly got over
N200 million contract to clear grass in Yobe State’s Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) camp.
The most senior Permanent Secretary
in the SGF’s office, is to act during the period of investigation.
The President also directed the
suspension and investigation of Ambassador Oke over the discovery of large
amount of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos,
which the agency reportedly laid claim to.
The investigation would 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 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.
A three-man committee comprising
the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the National
Security Adviser, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as chairman, would conduct
both investigations and submit its report to the President within 14 days.
Oke, who was appointed NIA DG by
former President Goodluck Jonathan on November 17, 2013, hailed from Ibadan, in
Oyo State. He took over from Ambassador
Ezeliel Olaniyi Oyedeji.
Meanwhile Reactions from Nigerians has shown
that the suspension, particularly that of the SGF, did not come as a
surprise. Many people said the
suspension ought to have been handed down before yesterday.
Speaking with urban express, renowned
lawyers and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Mike Ozekhome , as well as
elderstatesman, Tanko Yakasai and former minister, Chief Segun Babatope hailed
President Buhari for suspending the duo.
But Ekiti State Governor, Ayo
Fayose said the suspension was an “afterthought’ and a prelude to official
Fayose, who spoke through his
Special Assistant on Media and Public Communication, Lere Olayinka, faulted
Buhari for setting up a probe panel instead of referring the matter to the
He said Nigerians could no longer
be “deceived by a government that protects its own people whenever they are
accused of corruption while ordering the DSS and EFCC to invade houses of
members of opposition parties, especially those perceived as having
presidential ambition in 2019 in the night to arrest and detain them
indefinitely even when corruption allegations against them have not been
However, Ozekhome described the SGF
and NIA DG’s suspension as “good radiance to bad rubbish.”
According to him, “I am sure the
government is beginning to listen to my critical but patriotic voice. We cannot
continue to be a laughing stock in the international arena.
“The anti-corruption fight has so
far been a case of defending corruption within the government’s inner circle
and its very ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, decorating it with powerful sweet smelling
sasarobia perfume, while fighting that of perceived enemies and critics with
powerful insecticides, pesticides and herbicides. The chicken is finally coming
home to roost. I congratulate PMB on this move, even if belated.
minister of transport and PDP chieftain, Chief Babatope in his reaction, said
the president’s decision was a step in the right direction. He said that the
president was the head of the administration and could do anything he wanted,
but in doing that, he must ensure that no innocent person suffered.