Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engineer David Babachir Lawal,
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE Senate, Wednesday, declared the suspension slammed on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Engineer David Babachir Lawal, by President Muhammadu Buhari as a welcome development.
President Buhari had through his Special Adviser on Media; Femi Adesina announced the suspension of Babachir from office as SGF along with the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayodele Oke yesterday over alleged misdemeanors in office.
While the SGF’s suspension was based on his alleged involvement in scams uncovered in the contracts awarded by the Presidential Imitative on North East, PINE, for the development of the zone by the Senate Ad- hoc committee on Humanitarian crisis in the North East, that of the suspended NIA Boss was based on the recently uncovered $43million starched in an apartment in Lagos by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, but later claimed by NIA.
The Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, Senator Shehu Sani, APC Kaduna Central, in a statement after the announcement of Babachir suspension, said it was highly commendable for the President to take the decision though long overdue.
According to him, neither the Senate nor the committee, has any personal score to settle with the suspended SGF or any other person indicted but anybody caught in the process of carrying out their constitutional responsibilities as federal lawmakers on issues bordering on corruption, would just have to carry his or her cross without any bitterness against anybody.
The statement reads in part: “We received the report of President Muhammadu Buhari’s action on the Senate Committee report on the humanitarian crisis in the North East investigation into the activities of the Presidential Initiative on the North East. It’s commendable that the President has taken the Senate Committee report and recommendations seriously.
“It’s commendable for the President to heed the call to fumigate the throne of lice and bugs with the same ability he goes after rodents afar. The Senate and the Committee have nothing personal against the SGF or any person affected, but we simply did our job in conformity with our constitutional responsibilities and the moral calling of our conscience.
“We cannot jubilate because a mighty mortal is caught in the trap of his fate, we are neither saints nor Angels, but we have a duty to raise a card and blow the whistle. This is indeed a welcome development”.
In his own reaction, Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central Senatorial district also declared the suspension of the SGF as a welcome development which according to him, would strengthen executive and legislative relationship.
Aliero who reacted to the SGF’s suspension at a media chat with journalists said the report of Senate Ad-hoc Committee on humanitarian crises in the North East which indicted the SGF was detailed.
He added that the Senate’s earlier resolve for the sack of SGF was not borne out of sentiment, but was in line with the anti-corruption agenda, which ought to have been the responsibility of all arms of government.
His words: “”The suspension of SGF is a welcome development which will go a long way in mending fences with the executive.”
“The ad-hoc Committee on the humanitarian crises in the North East was very clear and without fault. For Mr. President to suspend SGF now has been the wish of the Senate,”he said