The panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate administrative infractions levelled against Babachir Lawal and Ayodele Oke, will be recommending their outright dismissals, sources in the presidency have told Pulse.
The committee charged with investigating the duo is headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Attorney General Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno.
On April 19, 2017, Buhari suspended his Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Lawal and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Oke.
Lawal was suspended after the Senate accused him of awarding a N200M contract to cut invasive grass species in Yobe, to a company in which he retains considerable interest.
Oke was asked to take a brief walk following the discovery of $50M in an upscale apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, last April.
The NIA which Oke heads, has since laid claim to the money.
The intelligence outfit said it was ware-housing the money in a private apartment for purposes of covert operations.
Latest media reports suggest that the apartment where the stash of cash was found; namely flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Ikoyi, was bought in the name of Folashade Oke who is the wife of the NIA boss.
A presidency statement announcing the suspension of Oke and Lawal at the time said “the most senior Permanent Secretary in the SGF's office and the most senior officer in the NIA” will replace the duo during the period of their investigations by the committee.
The committee was given 14 days to submit its report.
Sources in the presidency tell Pulse that the committee has since completed its assignment and its recommendations have been shared with President Buhari who is out of the country on a medical vacation.
“Buhari has approved the recommendations as put forward by the Osinbajo committee”, said a top ranking official in the presidency who craved anonymity for this story because he hadn’t been cleared to go public just yet.
Buhari departed for London on May 7, 2017 for what the presidency called a “follow-up medical vacation”.
Pulse has been told that the President went through the report of the VP’s committee before departing Nigeria’s shores.
Asked to speak further on the fates of the suspended SGF and NIA DG, the source added that “they won’t be returning to their jobs if the recommendations in that report are anything to go by.
“You can take it from me that they’ve been fired.”
The presidency considers Oke's "administrative lapses" too grave to keep him on the job a day longer.
Other sources in the presidency disclosed to Pulse that the report will soon be made public.
Pressed on why there’s been a delay since the 14 day period handed to the committee to finish its job elapsed, Pulse was told that it is only normal for several government parties to be fully briefed and carried along before action is taken.
“It’s one thing to have the report ready; it’s another thing for the President to act on it. But I can tell you that Oke and Lawal won’t be pleased with the outcome”,Pulse was told.
Oke broke down in tears upon learning of his suspension and was reportedly turned back at the Villa gates as he sought audience with the Vice President on the day.
On his part, Lawal who stuck out a tongue at journalists before leaving the presidential villa, was last seen getting bounced at the wedding party of one of Buhari’s aides, days after he was suspended.