President Muhammadu Buhari has wielded the big stick by ordering the suspension of the director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambasasador Ayo Oke and the secretary to the government of the federation, Mr. David Lawal.
Their suspension orders were contained in a statement made available to journalists today by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.
Oke was suspended in connection with 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 NIA has made a claim while Lawal was suspended in connection with the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on North East.
According to the statement, Buhari has ordered that thorough investigations be conducted on the allegations against the two top government officials.
The President therefore set up a three-man committee comprising the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN); the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The committee has 14 days to submit its reports.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
“The President has also directed the suspension of the SGF from office pending the outcome of the investigations.
“In a related development, the President has ordered a full scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the EFCC in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the 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.
“A three-man committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations.
“The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days.
“The most senior permanent secretary in the SGF’s office, and the most senior officer in the NIA, are to act, respectively, during the period of investigation.”