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Babachir Lawal, Ayo Oke Presidency too slow on punishing corruption suspects - Sagay

The PACAC chairman said the presidency should act fast in accordance with its anti-corruption mandate.

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Prof. Itse Sagay play

Prof. Itse Sagay


Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, has admitted that President Muhammadu Buhari has been slow on acting on corruption allegations against suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and Director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayodele Oke.

While speaking during an interview on Channels TV on Sunday, October 8, 2017, Sagay said that the presidency has to act a lot quicker on the issue to cement its clear commitment towards fighting corruption in the country.

"I have no doubt in my mind that the present government is actually fighting corruption in accordance with its mandate and promises. There is no question about that.

"But on the specific issue of the suspended secretary to the federal government and the director-general of the NIA, I would agree that action has been much too slow and there should be immediate decision on this matter so that we can put it to rest and move on. I agree with that.

"I think there is an even-handed approach to the issue of fighting corruption. Everybody who is suspected of corruption or the commission of economic and financial crimes will be investigated and the EFCC and the ICPC who are the bodies who are invested with the authority to act in such matters will act in accordance with their own priority," the PACAC chairman said.

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L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo shakes hands with President Muhammadu Buhari during the presentation of the Presidential Investigation Panel Report in Abuja

(Facebook/Sahara Reporters)


President Buhari suspended Lawal on April 19 after months of mounting pressure for his sack arising from allegations of his complicity in the misappropriation of funds earmarked for the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).

Oke was suspended as the director of the NIA after his public involvement in the controversial $50 million loot recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an Ikoyi apartment in April.

He had laid claim to the funds, saying it was earmarked by the agency for covert operations.

On August 23, President Buhari received the Presidential Investigation Panel Report on corruption allegations against the suspended officials.

The three-man panel that was headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also included National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The president's reluctance to address the report has led to a wave of discontent over insinuations that he's playing favouritism.

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