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Babachir Lawal, NIA DG ‘Hand over SGF, Oke to EFCC, ICPC’ CACOL tells Buhari

CACOL argued that Lawal and Oke's cases were financial crimes and should have been handled by the EFCC and ICPC.

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President Buhari and Babachir Lawal play

President Buhari and Babachir Lawal

(Vanguard)
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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) wants the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (ICPC) to investigate the cases involving Babachir Lawal and Ayodele Oke.

Lawal, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and Oke, the director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, April 19, 2019 over alleged corruption.

Subsequently, President Buhari constituted a three-man investigative panel headed by the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

But in a statement on Saturday, April 22, CACOL argued that both cases were financial crimes and should have been handled by the EFCC and ICPC.

NIA DG. Ambassador Ayodele Oke play

NIA DG. Ambassador Ayodele Oke

(Sahara Reporters)

 

COAL chairman, Debo Adeniran noted that that the ICPC and EFCC were available and capable of investigating allegations against the two government officials.

According to him, the members of the committee set up by the President have more important works to do.

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“The Vice President, for example, has a lot of executive roles to play in supporting the President who is aged and cannot do much running around," Adeniran said according to the statement.

“The Attorney General of the Federation also has a lot of work to do prosecuting cases for the Federal Government, supervising the anti-corruption agencies, other law enforcement bodies and advising the executive on legal issues.

“For instance, the case of Ambassador Oke is a financial crime, so his case is expected to be transferred to the EFCC. By hoarding the now recovered money (both local and foreign currencies) Oke is deemed to have committed a form of economic sabotage as he has denied people who needed money for legitimate business access to fund.

“Keeping government money in his wife’s private apartment is a financial crime, for which we believe he and his wife, who is not an NIA operative, as well as his other accomplices, which may include the past president (Goodluck Jonathan) and officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, should be interrogated and, if necessary, prosecuted and adequately punished to serve as a deterrent to others,”  he added.

Meanwhile, the Presidential committee to investigate corruption allegations against Lawal and Oke says it will conduct its work in camera.

A statement by the vice president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, on Saturday said that the camera sitting of the committee would enable all parties in the matter to make full disclosures.

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