Buhari writes Senate, clears SGF Lawal in ‘grass-cutting’ contract scandal

Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal.

President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate in response to the lawmakers’ indictment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and consequent call for his removal and prosecution.

Mr. Buhari, in his letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, defended Mr. Lawal and gave reasons he could not act as demanded by the Senate.

The Senate had in December last year asked President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend Mr. Lawal and ensure his prosecution over alleged breach of Nigerian laws in handling contracts awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE).

The Senate’s call followed the interim report of its ad-hoc committee on “mounting humanitarian crisis in the North East” led by Shehu Sani which indicted Mr. Lawal for receiving N200 million contract to clear “invasive plant species” in Yobe State through a company, Rholavision Nigeria Limited.

The Senate said Mr. Lawal remained a director of the company till September 2016, over a year after his appointment, in breach of Nigeria’s code of conduct for public officials as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

Mr. Lawal denied the allegations, dismissed the Senate as saying “balderdash”, and accused the lawmakers of attempt “to bring him him down at all cost”.

In his reaction conveyed through the letter read by Mr. Saraki Tuesday, Mr. Buhari said the SGF was not given fair hearing before the indictment.

He said Mr. Lawal said neither the SGF nor the company said to have been used to perpetrate the alleged illegality was invited by the the Shehu Sani-committee.

He also said the report of the committee was signed by three of the nine members of the ad hoc commitee, thus making its report a minority report.

Consequently, the president said he had no choice than to not to act against Mr. Lawal as canvassed by the Senate.

But in a quick reaction, Mr. Sani raised a point of order to defend his commitee’s report.

He said Mr. Buhari’s claims were false, insisting that Mr. Lawal and other parties were involved and his committee had evidence.

He also said seven of nine members of the committee signed the report, not three of nine as claimed by Mr. Buhari.

See below,  the LETTER President Muhammadu Buhari sent to the Nigerian Senate to clear Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal

Buhari's letter to the national assembly about babachir-1 Buhari's letter to the national assembly about babachir-2 Buhari's letter to the national assembly about babachir-3

 


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  • D1

    Easy beezy! Shehu sani show the proof that seven of the nine members signed the report. Your committee wrote it, you must have a copy…and also the evidence for us to see, shikena!

    • Opekete

      Yor are right. After all Saraki was being given fair hearing in the CCT. Why not Babachir or Mamachir or whoever Chir for that matter. Fair hearing is the simplest demand of justice.

      • Don

        why not charge them to court for fair hearing

        • Opekete

          Absolutely

    • persona

      Sanni presented the document with 7 signatories just today. As at the time he submitted, it was a minority report and it failed its recommendation requirement that it must be final and not interim report.
      Incompetence everywhere: DSS did the same and now the senate?
      We are in trouble with such people running this country. Since SGF told the senate that no constituency projects, they had to go for him. The independent report published also indicated that the contract was not for grass cutting but more extended with the company of the SGF as consultant not the contractor. The SHF also had resigned his directorship since August, 2015. Why will the senate keep misrepresenting the facts is what beats me? Please catch the SGF well or wait till you can, sooner than later, all thieves will make a mistake.

  • Sadiq Garba

    Senator Sani, It is not whether you have evidence. The rules demand that you give the accused what is called fair-hearing.

    • elvis

      another shameless parasite

      • dave

        piss off asswipe

    • Don

      which rule?

      • Tahir Bunu-hamza

        …so you have not and know no rule?

  • Rommel

    Time for hearsay is no more,everyone with evidence should make it available for public scrutiny or court

    • elvis

      shameless parasite

    • John A

      Did you benefited from the grass cutter minister loots?

  • dan

    Kwaruption is now well established in mr. integrity’s govt, No wonder nothing is working in spite of the trillions of Naira released in the 2016 budget and more trillions to be released this year, with another $30b to be borrowed, Naija don enter one chance with hunger and poverty in the land.

    • jega

      My friend, read the report that cleared Lawal, its on this site and its free, all that brainless rhetoric of yours won’t even cut with akara sellers, Nigerians are getting more elightened… Stop displaying crassness do RESEARCH!

      • dan

        How much are they paying you that has blocked your ability to think? Is babachir supposed to award any FG contract to his own company in the first place? A company registered as tech company now awarded a contract to clear grasses and you see nothing wrong with that?

        • Tahir Bunu-hamza

          …and why would only three members of a nine-members committee signed the report in the first place?

  • imagine_2012

    Jesus Christ.!!!! Even Jonathan never did this.

  • otunga

    Criminals trying to incriminate another suspected criminal…according to Fela, “na stalemate”..

    • elvis

      hide yourself if you have nothing meaningful to write

      • dauda

        And what “meaningful” do you yourself got to say? Nothing

    • Owoeye Gbenga

      Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself?Did you see any APC supporter or blind and deaf supporters of this thieves APC administration on this forum?Won ti fese fe(they have run away with shame).Come on cover your face with shame.Your Daura president has failed Nigerians woefully.

  • Don

    PMB and Bunch of criminals fighting kwaranshio, ride on

  • www.electionoffenders.ng

    I rest my case on this Government’s anti corruption fight.

    We are either fighting corruption or we are not. Its the greatest injustice for some people to walk away free for same offense while other people are being jailed and having their reputations destroyed for life,

    Listen, this Government should open the vaults of the CBN and make stealing free for all. But some people cant be immune from punishment while some others are jailed and have their reputation ruined.

    I can NEVER support corruption BUT i will also NEVER SUPPORT INJUSTICE!

    This government is essentially using technicalities of fair hearing to absolve the SGF!!. The Government has not even addressed the issue of his guilt or not!!! Can you imagine these people?!!! Where is the sincerity and seriousness?

    This is an unforced error by Government and it will haunt them

  • Sword of Damocles

    The “meat”/ allegations were not EVEN addressed by the Presidency. This response is akin to the glowing endorsement given by my President to Speaker Dogora(mr sticky fingers), when he said quote “The Speaker should be emulated by the youths of today for his service to the nation”. I do not know if I should laugh or cry. Our situation is similar to that of a society where monopolies exists, so the consumer does not really have choice. This is where I find myself as it relates to the issue of leadership in Nigeria. I am compelled to support the President, because the rest of them are Genetically-endowed thieves. But the as they would say about marrying an ugly woman: the President is NO catch at all.(but you know the ugly woman will be loyal at least). I supposed that the same thing that has occurred for Eng. Lawal has also occurred for Abba Kyari and DG of DSS Daura. The whole thing is so disheartening.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    Constituecy projects.

    • Arabakpura

      I think so!

      • persona

        The SGF had told the senate point blank that constituency projects wont happen and they had to hunt him down.
        The implication is this, the senate presented a bad document which was not only interim, it had on the copy sent to the president with 3 signatories while the version submitted by Sanni TODAY had 7 signatories and guess what, Sanni’s name was absent even as he was the head of the same committee.
        The rule that ensures a recommendation makes it clear that, a final report and not interim should have been submitted. When will we have competent people doing the right thing in this country? First, DSS writes 2 reports and forced to bow in shame, Senate is breaking her own rules on final reports for recommendation and 33 percent compliance to push for the exit of a man who went against them.

        • defash1

          Is Senate not right now?

  • Arabakpura

    Are these senators watching and listening to the US senators interview even one of their own? There is no “take a bow and go” and “Ghana must go” or “constituency protect” are not objects of consideration!

  • Dazmillion

    Anyone who still thinks Buhari is fighting corruption should quickly check himself into the nearest psychiatric hospital for urgent mental evaluation.

    • Otile

      Well he is fighting corruption in his own way. For him nothing can be more unpardonable than the wrongdoings of his opponents.

    • 678

      That’s correct. Bihari is envious of the humongous and rapid development taking place in the Southern part of the country, hence, he’s shielding his own men from prosecution.

      He’s a cunning and deceiving man. Well, 2019 is around the corner!

  • born Great

    Is unbelievable that a government that prides itself as anti corruption fighter, is using technicality to exonerate it’s indicted official. The report of the presidency is just crazy .

    • AryLoyds

      See no evil, hear no evil , Deris is God oh!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    There’s something fishy here. Buhari called the report a ‘minority report’ because only 3 out the 9 members signed the report. But Sani, the chairman of the senate panel, said 7 signed the report. So how come this kind of disparity? Are we missing something?

    • persona

      The same Sani just submitted the same report today and guess what, as the head, his name was conspicuously missing even from the same report he presented.
      My challenge is this: Buhari was simply telling the senators that he cant approve an interim report to sack someone when indeed the rules they use state that it must be a final report and endorsed by the majority.
      This letter also show that while the senate said they submitted letter to the office of the SGF and printed in newspapers, the SGF may have been invited but the said company was never debriefed. I blame the SGF for making himself believing he is bulletproof and should be sacked BUT the senate has not complied with its own rules and has done a shady job.
      Just as the DSS messed he Magu case up, the senate has done the same and it just shows that incompetence abound in this nation. The fallen educational requirement and standards keep turning up in a very corrupt system.

  • Owoeye Gbenga

    If I may ask,when was Buhari became an advocate or a lawyer? Is he the lawyer to the SFG? I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT I AM READING. I want somebody to tell me,which kind of President is this? I think this old man says he is fighting Kwaraption,when was he became an advocate?I am short of words.So,it is true that this president is not fighting corruption but opposition.How come Mr.President 270million used to cut ordinary grasses is not a corruption?How can you explain it to Nigerians.So,Buhari is so corrupt like this.I am ashamed of APC and its fake govt.

    • Ha

      Have you found any fault with Mr President for being an advocate? Yes he has to act as advocate because the senate is asking him to act as a “Judge” to dismiss a staff. What do you expect a judge to do before deciding on a case? Just delivering decision without referring to existing laws? As you want somebody to tell you the kind of President Buhari is, I want you to tell me the kind of person you are to expect a judge to ignore existing laws. Do you ever know that a simple violation of procedure can destroy a case in court?

      Had Buhari taken a decision outrightly and dismissed Babachir, you might be one of those who will support the President of CAN in accusing Buhari for victimising a fellow christian as part of the agenda to Islamize Nigeria. Buhari has pointed out the lapses of the said report. If not the senate is lazy, why can’t they correct these lapses and resubmit to the presidency? Did the President say his reply was final?

    • Powerlessconscious

      Ha response has finished you. So think very well next time before you write on forum.

  • Okokondem

    Not that I was under any illusion the Change mantra/anti corruption crusade would amount to anything because Nigerians have witnessed these PR slogans before only to have their hopes dashed.

    But what cemented my pessimism was Buhari’s nonchalant attitude towards the allegations of budget misappropriation leveled against the speaker of the house and his cohorts.

    Even OBJ who some people have accused of helping create the atmosphere for budget padding during his attempt to extend his tenure to a third term recently condemned this practice yet, Buhari remained mum about it.

    Isn’t it ironic that a self proclaimed anti corruption crusader is conveniently engaging in hair-splitting to exonerate one of his own, by wilfully falsifying the number of adhoc committee members that voted to indict this Lawal guy and not actually denying he committed the crime he is accused of. So much for fighting corruption.

  • Lanre

    And the Incorruptible Judge – Muhammudu Buhari delivers judgement. Lawal is Innocent. Case closed.

  • Senator D

    The Nigerian Senate is a constituted Authority to supervise the Autocratic tendency of the Executive. If the Presidency thinks it has become a MONARCH in our present Nigerian state then I weep for Nigeria. Buhari keeps undermining every other arm of government including the Judiciary by refusing to confirm the Acting CJN as the substantive CJ of Nigeria. He thinks he is a MONARCH where he is the Alpha and Omega. Well, Buhari should expect surprises in 2017… He may end up losing his life if need be. Go ask Sanni Abacha!

    • Powerlessconscious

      Are you the one that will kill the president dark brain. Fine, senate are there for check and balance, but the president can not openly go against them of he is sure that SGF is still not culpable. But for you to say the president will loose his life is purely a dark brain. Nigerians are praying that senate house should not exist again because they have never got good antincedent in their house and they consume too much money and stealing.

      • Senator D

        The president cannot be a judge in its own matter. The SGF is an employee of the Presidency Olodo like you. Shut up and watch as events unfold Buhari will die if you doubt me go ask Abacha when Nigerians started cursing his regime God intervened. Buhari’s days are numbered. If widows, the poor, and orphans are crying to high heavens and you are here defending stup*dity then you will also feel the wrath of the Heavens as it’ll come down heavily with no mercies on every evil Islamic Terrorist called Bubu!

        • Powerlessconscious

          Go and kill him. Olodo.

    • defash1

      Is Senate not right on this now?