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Senate to SGF: Resign and face prosecution for graft

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The upper legislative chambers, the Senate has passed a resolution demanding resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal.
Specifically, the Senate is hinging its call on his indictment in the massive corruption allegedly perpetrated by public officers in the management of insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country ravaged by the Boko Haram crisis.
The resolution of the senate followed the presentation of an interim report by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in North-East which indicted Lawal.
The report of the committee identified Lawal as a director in one of the companies that perpetrated alleged corruption via diversion of funds for the project.
The Upper Chamber resolved that Babachir has breached the oath of Public Procurement Act which he swore to, hence, the demand for his resignation and be prosecuted.
Speaking, Senator Dino Melaye described the development as abominable and demanded Lawal’s resignation and prosecution.
Senator Olamilekan Adeola of Lagos also demanded his resignation, a sentiment echoed by the Senate Leader Ali Ndume who expressed concern that out of the humanitarian funds he puts at $417Million sent to the North East “yet no sign of such funds.”
The Senate also approved that contracts for the IDPs must pass through the Bureau for Public Enterprises for proper valuation.
In his comments, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki pointed out that commended the Committee for the courage on the report and urged them to submit full report as soon as possible.
Reacting to the allegations in another statement issued by him, Lawal said the decision of the Senate was absolute nonsense‎.
Speaking with newsmen after the 2017 Budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari, Babachir said the lawmakers never invited him to hear his own side of the story.
Lawal, who confirmed ownership of ‎Global Vision Limited, the company at the centre of the controversy, said he resigned from there on August 18, 2015, which was before hs appointment as SGF.
According to him: “It is very instructive no effort was made to invite me, saying “They did the session to malign me. Nigerian politicians have formed the attitude of bring him down by all means. I have the report of the committee with me.”

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