Osinbajo meets suspended SGF Lawal, NIA Director General evades journalists

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal  briefing State House Correspondents after leaving the Presidential Villa Abuja after the announcement of his suspension in Abuja on Wednesday (19/4/17).
02296/19/4/2017/Callistus Ewelike/NAN
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal briefing State House Correspondents after leaving the Presidential Villa Abuja after the announcement of his suspension in Abuja on Wednesday (19/4/17). 02296/19/4/2017/Callistus Ewelike/NAN

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has met with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, barely an hour after the announcement of Mr. Lawal’s suspension from office.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closed-door meeting is connected with the work of the Presidential Committee set up to investigate allegations of misconduct against the SGF.

When accosted, Mr. Lawal refused to comment on the outcome of his meeting with the vice-president.

The Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke, who was also suspended, was seen around the Vice President’s office immediately after the departure of the SGF.

The NIA boss, who noticed the presence of State House correspondents, however turned back and attempted to pass through Vice President’s exit gate.

He was prevented from going out through that point by security officials; the security also stopped Mr. Oke from passing through the service chief’s gate.

The NIA boss later left the Presidential Villa without seeing the Vice-President.

President Buhari on Wednesday ordered the immediate suspension of Messrs Lawal and Oke, pending the outcome of investigation of allegations levelled against them.

The presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the president ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against Mr. Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East, PINE.

The President also 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.

“The President has also directed the suspension of the Director General of the NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of the investigation,” Mr. Adesina said.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the NIA claimed ownership of the over N13 billion after the EFCC announced the money was found at an apartment in Ikoyi based on a tip by a whistle blower.

A court has since ordered that the funds be temporarily forfeited to the Nigerian governemnt.

A three-person committee comprising the Attorney-General of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, and headed by Mr. Osinbajo is to investigate Mr. Lawal ad Mr. Oke.

The committee is to submit its report to the president within 14 days.

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  • Omolomo

    Premium Times Editor,

    What’s wrong with evading journalists? There’s no news in that. I also evade journalists all my life.
    Journalists can do and undo. They are wicked people. They can make somebody to rise or fall.
    They’ll expose everything to the whole world. They even expose theft, sex and hypocrisy. If care
    is not taken journalists will expose the shenaigan in this OSHINBAJO probe because President
    Muhamadu Buhari has already dictated the answer well before the probe started, by saying
    that the $50 million cash found hidden at Flat 7b in Osborne Towers as SECURITY FUNDS,
    despite that Central Bank said it has never issued any new mint notes in U.S dollars to
    the National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A) or to Ayodele Oke in person.

    • OJERINDE, Olatunde A.

      you have said nothing actually.

      • ?????????

        @ojerindeolatundea:disqus

        • How did
        President Muhamadu Buhari reach the ridiculous conclusion ahead of
        investigation that the newly-minted $50million stashed away in a wardrobe
        behind a purposely built false wall inside the private apartment at Flat 7b in
        Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, is “security funds”, when the Central Bank said
        three days ago that it never issued newly minted U>S dollar notes to the
        National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A)?

        • Aminu Baba

          You are the dullest person I have ever come across for ages! Are u drunk? What the h*ll are u talking about?

  • Pastor J.J.Jones

    The love of money is the root of all evil;
    which, while some coveted after, they erred from faith and pierced
    themselves with sorrows. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the
    whole world and lose his own soul? The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a vanity tossed to and fro, of those who seek death. There are thorns and
    snares on the path of the crooked. One who guards himself prudently will stay
    far from the crooked. My brethren, thou shall not steal. Theft and bribe bring
    sorrow. Where the spirit of theft is, there, the spirit of God cannot be.

  • More heads to roll. These are indeed desperate times

    • O’ Leo

      @tmothyavele:disqus

      YES, A DESPERATE DISEASE OF THEFT NEEDS A DESPERATE SOLUTION OF JAILING.

      ALL THOSE CAUGHT MUST BE TAKEN TO COURT AND SENTENCED TO PRISON TERMS.

      THAT IS WHAT CHANGE SHOULD MEAN – NOT JUST PROBING AND TALKING OF CHANGE.

  • concerned child

    As President BUHARI CORRECTS his own MISTAKES……..

    Few months ago, in January this year, another Buhari appointee, Osita Aboloma,
    the D-G Standards Organization of Nigeria (S.O.N), reportedly issued authorization
    to certain importers to bring in five (5) billion Naira worth of fake or defective
    car tyres straight into Nigeria. The tyres were then shipped in and made to
    legally pass through Customs because the importers had S.O.N certification on
    quality approval. Since we know that private profit is the motive of economic
    and financial crimes we do not need to ask how much bribe was paid by the importers.
    All we know is Nigeria is in all sorts of troubles under the thumb of corrupt
    officials in Buhari administration. Better then to clean out the whole rot by
    going the whole hog.

    On what merits of competence, knowledge or honesty did President Buhari
    appoint Osita Aboloma as Director-General of Standards Organization of Nigeria
    (S.O.N) in the first place? The truth is that President Buhari made series of
    blunders. He appointed all sorts of misfits and then crouched to pray that
    somehow miraculously those misfits will jell into CHANGE. But things don’t work
    that way in real life.

    Once you decide on a CHANGE agenda it means the detritus of the past
    ways of doing things must necessarily be excluded from the projected way of
    doing things differently. What we are witnessing today is President Buhari
    eating his own words by getting rid of his misfit appointees belatedly after
    they’ve brought his government close to the floor with frauds.

    • Papa Ogihwriodo [Warri]

      MY CHILDREN,

      Una well done. You must catch all the thief inside Buhari government.
      They are too many. Even the big trap I am using here to catch grass-cutter in
      the bush cannot catch all the thieves inside Buhari government. They are too
      many. But you must catch them one by one. What they are doing in this Buhari government
      is like WHO WANTS TO BE A BILLIONAIRE. They are just stealing and taking bribe.
      Now they say Ambassador Ayodele Oke of National Intelligence Agency is crying.
      I come ask: crying for what? Did Buhari slap him? Did Buhari shoot him with machine
      gun? What is he crying for? When he was hiding $50 million inside Osborne
      Towers did he cry? Why the crocodile tears now?

  • Madam Edith

    @tmothyavele:disqus May God give our President the honesty of spirit to keep to this new track and clean up
    Nigeria. The country is stinking. Bribes and thefts have destroyed public administration. Nigerians have lost
    faith in public institutions. Nigerians don’t even believe they can get justice in the courts of law anymore.
    Nigerians see the courts as sinful places where justice is now sold by the Judges to the highest bidder.
    We cannot go on like this. We need change. We have not seen any change so far. We want change!
    We want to be a good country where honesty reigns. We want a country where truth can prevail.
    We want to live in a comfortable country where public institutions will work without any bribes.
    Buhari has not started to build such a country with all the rogues and thieves he appointed.

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  • obiora

    So now Buhari Suspended The Yoruba Man OKE and not Jonathan. Which Tribe is now Thief Tribe. And I know Osinbajo will bend for OKE as Yoruba know Yoruba then Buhari will show him Exit too because Buhari need a new person as second to avoid the King of Drug trafiking come 2019.

    • Arabakpura

      Don’t be too sure that Jonathan has gone Scot free! Oke may spill the beans if ruffled!

    • Konyesilifu

      Some people on this platform are truly irredeemable.

  • Bigtin

    Story story ….story!

  • Gabriel Olasebikan

    January 24th 2017,PMB wrote the NASS clearing Babachir. April 19th 2017, PMB suspends Babachir. The same Attorney who recommended and cleared Babachir is on the same committee set up today to investigate the same allegations against Babchir.
    Why are there no two or three credible external members of this three man presidential investigation committee? Nigerians are about being sold another fraud. They bought same in 2015, now another one is pushed into the market for sale…..Many will buy!!!!!

    • Aloa Akan

      Did he clear him? No. He asked the NASS to complete his report that he could not based his judgment on an interim report signed by only few members of the committee. God will heal you.

  • emmanuel

    Nigerians already know how this will end. At the end, the monies belong to NIA and no body will be charged…all because the real teef who stole this money is an APC member who was formerly a PDP member and comes from Port Harcourt. Even the Devil is confused about Nigeria. Criminality from presidency and cover up by presidency. This is irritating.

  • Curious

    Buhari how can you appoint Vice President to head the investigation? No faith in Magu anymore?

    Are Nigerians still wondering where El-Rufia gets money to pay terrorist Fulani Herdsmen or where Boko Haram gets funding?

    • Patriot01

      Please adhere to facts.Your comments are unsubstantiated without any proof, if so prove and stop churning out hate speech on someone. Preach peace.

    • Aloa Akan

      Each time I have the opportunity of reading comments like yours, I always appreciate my dog more for being a sensible pet.

  • Turker

    LAWAL used N500,000 to cut grass and Buhari waited for almost one year to suspend him. Anyway, I am not surprised because Ex-Gov Raji Fashola (Current Minister of Power) used N70m to build a website and Ex Gov of Ekiti, Mr Fayemi (current Minister of Mines) used N51m to buy a bedroom bed for he and his wife…and these are close pals of Presidency

  • tsunami1earthquake

    This is now a very serious test for the presidency. Though the Attorney General had earlier ‘cleared’ Babachir of that crime, the new developments have gone to show that Babachir has a serious case to answer with respect to that allegation. The only concern here is the fact that the same attorney general is sitting on the present committee. One wonders what he is going to do now to cover his obvious professional incompetence, malpractice and breach of trust.

    My read about Ayodele Oke is that he is a very funny man. Accordingly, he should not even be allowed to hold public office again. His conduct in the wake of the huge money haul just goes to show his stark incompetence in the area he had been appointed to serve. How could somebody of his ilk descend so low as to use his wife to carry raw cash to a building? The series of utterances he had put up so far goes to show that he is just a wishy-washy intelligence officer.

    The three gentlemen making up this presidential committee are on a test drive. The way they carry out their assignment would be a tag that would follow them henceforth. The cardinal item on this government’s programme is anti-corruption drive. Right from the inception of this government, many Nigerians of reportedly ill repute, have been harangued, subjected to all forms of push-pull and indescribable shaming on account of the various sleaze they had participated in. The only quality they had lacked, and still continue to lack, is the fact that they don’t belong to the arm of government we call the Presidency. However, nobody quarrels with every attempt at ridding the society of corruption and like crimes.

    The arrowhead for ridding the society of these ills is, by nature, located in the Presidency. Now, that such a bug has caught up with persons of their kind, the entire society is agape and watching with rapt sense of attention and apprehension what is going to happen! And in the midst of all these tensions, all eyes and ears are focused on the three gentlemen of the presidency commissioned to look into this alleged sleaze with a view to coming out with results that would fit the age-old saying to wit: ‘a sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’.

    Nigerians are expecting nothing less than true justice. Yes, true justice is demanded here in order to justify all the widely-acclaimed anti-corruption agenda of this administration. True justice will only be attained if justice is not perverted in any way. We recognize that some elements in the society would now awaken in the space of these 14 days to attempt to corrupt and sway the three gentlemen to do what the Golden Standard of Justice would eternally frown at. One would not be surprised to hear or see traditional rulers taking turns to contact with members of this presidential committee, all in the attempt to speak on behalf of their sons under investigation. One would not be surprised to see or hear moneybags hauling huge suitcases of newly minted monies of all denominations and of all countries coming to bribe members of this presidential committee. These scenarios are not farfetched.

    However, I must remind these committee members that they are really under test. They must have behind their minds that any modicum of miscarriage or perversion of justice is a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance. Such an action can only be forgiven if the same person went back to publicly recant that perversion and then do the right thing. So this assignment is a very sensitive mission for these committee members.

    We await the result of the committee’s investigation in a fortnight’s time.

    • Okokondem

      I have to give you credit, you are more optimistic about justice in Nigeria than I or most people are. It’s quite impressive following your play by play sequence of events and the possibility of a positive outcome from any commission of inquiry or investigation. History has shown that these investigations often are a mare delay strategy aimed at deflecting attention from the prevailing allegations of malfeasance.

      My contention has always been that Nigerians must become active not passive participants in their governance. History has also shown that people who are engaged in the way way they are governed often are able to bring about positive outcomes.

      Since the emergence of social media in the past decade or so, peoples around the globe have leveraged it to advance positive agendas towards achieving good governance. To most Nigerians, coming here each day to comment on whatever news of that day constitutes a civic duty…no, it does not. Coming here to criticize and lambast the exposed politician of the day hardly passes for active participation in democracy.

      Unfortunately those stealing the country’s wealth have concluded that the people do not have the resolve to bring about changes, so why would they voluntarily end a practice that has rewarded them, and continue to do so.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Respect ✊

  • Okokondem

    We are inundated with the daily drumbeat of politics of personality and not nearly enough about policies that would improve the sorry state of the country’s infrastructure, power supply or the general wellbeing of the people.

    How can the people wake up everyday to news about how they have been duped by those they elected to manage the affairs of the country. How is one expected to be optimistic in an environment steeped in negatively and treachery.

    Enough of the names and the mischief they are associated with. I have asked for this several times, zero in on projects nationwide for which appropriations were made with nothing to show for it. Then report on who was in charge of the appropriations. Follow up by asking such government officials, past or present, to account for the money. RESEARCH and INVESTIGATE, please!

  • olat

    FG should establish Whistle-blower Protection Advisory Committee

  • Factsay

    This panel is not neutral and would be biased. We want real and genuine investigation

    A neutral panel shall not have any member of the past and present day govt officials.

    • Incircle

      @Factsay:disqus

      The truth is
      Buhari did NOT make a single sensible appointment since he resumed office
      as the president and that’s why Nigeria is looking like a failed state. President
      Buhari appointed notorious thieves, criminals, some nominees of certificate
      forger in Lagos, plus, a raft of stuttering ignoramuses handed to him by those
      who financed ‘the Buhari presidential campaign’. The parastatals in Nigeria now
      float driftless with no moral compass for direction. The cabinet itself has
      proved unable since October 2015 to think up any coherent policy, even as
      Nigeria fell into economic recession in April 2016 – which the country has not
      exited till today. Blaming oil or foreigners is to be intentionally blind to the
      first fact that the Buhari government is the first public emergency that need
      be repealed and replaced – if Nigeria is to get out of this total mess.

      • Deansmart

        You are only telling us story about last administration ,thank you for reminding us,

    • ?????????

      @Factsay:disqus •How did
      President Muhamadu Buhari reach the ridiculous conclusion ahead of
      investigation that the newly-minted $50million stashed away in a wardrobe
      behind a purposely built false wall inside the private apartment at Flat 7b in
      Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, is “security funds”, when the Central Bank said
      three days ago that it never issued newly minted U>S dollar notes to the
      National Intelligence Agency (N.I.A)?

      • Sidi Ahmed

        “I sympathise with Nigerians for voting Buhari. We have a president who doesn’t have a friend outside
        the North and that’s a tragedy. As I am talking to you, I am convinced that President Buhari’s presidency
        is dead. He may be physically alive and I wish him good health, but as far as governance is concerned,
        his presidency is dead and nothing can be done to resuscitate it. A presidency can be alive in terms of
        a leader, but in terms of programmes and achievements it can be dead and historically forgotten”.

        …………..Dr. Junaid Muhammed

        (KANO, March 5th, 2017)

    • Peter_Edo

      Panel headed by Osinbajo? you must be smoking something…

      • Factsay

        Go get help. The comment is meant for civilised and intelligent people not agberos like u

  • MaskedPhantom

    Methinks this suspension cannot have happened without the covert intervention of the US govt. After all, there’s $50m in freshly minted greenbacks involved. Am quite sure they’d want to know who is doing the minting.

  • Intrepid

    Ayodele Oke wept like Diya. These people una go die because of Fed. appointments

    • Julius

      hahahahaha, here we go.. na only those 2 people u come mention . Look at yourself…Poor you ! Like Igbo man no go take appointments if given to them. Now, I understand why your people dey go around at night begging for jobs with the FGN . No be so ?

    • Osakue

      Soon those people that will do what ever to get into government will soon be a thing of the past
      If pmb continues with his anti-corruption drive

      • Osakue

        The moment that govt work becomes a place where you have to sacrifice your skill a lot of thieve will avoid govt work. Hence there is no room to steal

  • Peter_Edo

    Buhari knows how to delegate (most times) and not have to move much to see action. He delegated his VP and here we are. this VP is very much like one other VP we used to have… i dare say the most active VP since the last one. His name was Idiagbon. The office of the VP is back to functioning full speed ahead and when Osinbajo becomes President, he will also have a good VP and a better Executive Council.

    My vote did not waste!

  • Olatubosun

    I proud of my country

  • Olatubosun

    My president is performing excellently

  • Olatubosun

    Kudos to this administration

  • Olatubosun

    We need to fight corruption to the last