By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – A coalition of some Abuja-based civil society organizations under the aegis of Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative, on Monday faulted the Senate for calling for the sack of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Babachir Lawal, describing the lawmakers’ action as a way of getting back at President Muhammadu Buhari whose anti-corruption war has seen some high-profile Nigerians including allies of the senators as ‘guests’ of the anti-graft agencies.
Coordinator of the coalition, Okpokwu Ogenyi, who spoke on behalf of sister-organizations alleged that the upper chamber as presently constituted, lacks the moral right to indict anyone.
He insisted that the Senate’s report on the SGF fell short of unbiased expectations as its content was mere blackmail targeted at President Buhari as a way to avenge the ongoing travails of the principal officers of the Senate who are either being investigated or being tried by anti-graft agencies.
He said, “we charge the Nigerian Senate to stop playing politics with sensitive national issues, especially her deliberate attempts to mislead Nigerians at all time in their subtle attempt to discredit Mr. President’s anti-graft war by blackmailing his associates.
“It is no longer news that the National Assembly especially the present Senate as constituted has derailed from its primary function of law making to a mere blackmail of the executive and its persons perceived very sensitive to the day to day running of its activities. They are continuously being castigated on daily bases by the senate, with a view painting Mr President’s war on corruption in bad light.
“The report of the senate Ad-hoc committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East which claims that a contract was awarded to a company which Mr Babachir Lawal was the signatory and a director was false and should be discarded.
“As civil society bodies, we went into a private investigation and discovered that Mr Lawal upon assumption of office resigned from the Board of Rholavision Engineering Limited on the 28th of August, 2015 and relinquished his shares and as a director of the same company, the letter was written on his letter-headed paper. On the 26th of October, 2015, the Same BabaChir David Lawal (SGF) wrote a letter to Eco Bank Plc requesting for a change of signatory which the bank honoured.
“We have equally resolved as Nigerians not to fold our arms as this new trick of the National Assembly portends danger to the ongoing anti-corruption war of Mr President as they have proved to be visible enemies of Nigeria, working against the Nigerian State. We shall always stand on the part of the truth.
“As responsible Nigerians, we appeal to the Secretary to the Goverment of the Federation, Mr BabaChir David Lawal not to be distracted by the Senator Shehu Sani led ad-hoc committee’s frivolous report. We are aware that it was doctored just to smear your good image and that of Mr. President before the world”, he posited.