Osinbajo meets Lawal, NIA chief dodges press

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Vice President Osinbajo with suspended SGF, Babachir Lawal

By Ismaila Chafe

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

The closed door meeting of the Vice-President with the suspended SGF might be connected with the committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate allegations of misconduct against the SGF.

The three-man committee, headed by the Vice-President, is also to investigate 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 SGF refused to comment on the outcome of his meeting with the Vice-President, when approached by journalists.

Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, who was also suspended from office over the discovered funds in Ikoyi, Lagos, was also 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 the Vice President’s exit gate but was prevented from doing so by security officials.

Another attempt by the suspended DG to pass through the service chiefs’ gate was also turned down by the security staff of the gate.

The NIA boss later left the Presidential Villa without seeing the Vice-President at that particular moment.

President Buhari on Wednesday ordered the immediate suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Lawal and the Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Amb. Ayo Oke, pending the outcome of investigation of allegations levelled against them.

Media and Publicity Special Adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the SGF, Mr David 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,’’ the statement added.


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