The Senate during Wednesday plenary demanded the prosecution and suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, over alleged breach of Nigeria’s law in handling contracts awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North East, PINE.
The Senate’s resolution followed presentation of the report on mounting humanitarian crisis in the north-east by the Shehu Sani-led ad hoc committee.
The committee found that Lawal owns one of the companies awarded contracts in the rehabilitation of the North-East and had resigned from the directorship of the company in September 2016 but was still a signatory to the account.
The said company, Global Vision Ltd is one of the companies indicted by the committee for allegedly benefiting from inflated and phantom contracts.
Global Vision was incorporated in 1990 to carry out ICT services; but it received contract to clear grass in 2016 even while the owner is senior government official, the lawmakers found.
Mr. Lawal’s directorship of the Global Vision while being a public official – Secretary General of the Federation – contravened Nigeria’s code of conduct for public officials as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, the Senate held.
Melaye also said the SGF action was an embarrassment to the anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
He recommended the resignation and prosecution of Lawal.
Senator Solomon Adeola agreeing with Dino Melaye, stated that “the actions of the FG in recent times is nothing to write home about.”
Also, Isah Misau (APC-Bauchi) said Mr. Lawal should resigned immediately or be suspended and be prosecuted afterwards.
Mr. Misau said the Buhari administration was having challenges with performance delivery “because of people like the SGF”.
He said the SGF was the one responsible for non-constitution of many boards of the federal government.
Mr. Misau said Mr. Buhari should sack and ensure prosecution of the SGF to prove seriousness of his anti-corruption campaign.
Senate President put it to Vote and the Yays have it that SGF Babachir Lawal resign.
The Senate therefore resolved that PINE should turn in all documents pertaining to contracts it had awarded, and that all government officials, apart from Mr. Lawal, found to have contravened law in the processes of the contracts should be prosecuted.