‘Arrest and detain him like PDP members,’ Party says

Lawal was suspended on Wednesday, April 19, over allegations that he misused funds meant for Internally Displaced Persons in the Northeast.

Babachir Lawal was suspended over conflict of interest allegations

The PDP made the call via a statement released by the spokesman of the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye on Thursday, April 20.

The statement reads:

“In this context, we are alarmed at the Suspension of the SGF at a time that Nigerians and the International Community are excitedly enjoying the theater of the absurd playing out with the recovery of huge sums of money without owners.”

“Now the APC led Federal Government suddenly realized the corruption allegation levelled against the SGF; and instead of arresting and detaining him as the Government has been doing to PDP members and other Nigerians, he was rather suspended and a committee set-up to investigate him. This is to say the lead double standard.

“Consequently, the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee indicted the SGF, Engr Lawal for the mismanagement of PINE Funds and the award of multi-million Naira grass Cutting Contract to one of his companies, Rholavision Engineering Limited and other ghost companies.

“We are at a loss why the President would set up a panel comprising members of his cabinet to investigate other senior very powerful members of the same executive. Where is the transparency in that?

“Not that we doubt the integrity of the Vice President (for whom we have the utmost respect) and other panelists but it appears the matter is being settled within the government closet without the transparency, independence and impartiality necessary in a situation like this. Justice must not only be done it must be seen to have been done.

“This is especially important given the fact that we recently travel this road when the President asked the Attorney General to investigate the SGF (on this same matter) and Magu, the acting chairman of the EFCC.

“That investigation cleared the SGF of all wrong doings in the grass cutting scandal. It is amazing that the President who swiftly accepted the recommendations of the Attorney General would now suddenly set up another panel comprising the same Attorney General to investigate the matter again.

“The Pertinent question is whether the President has now realized that the initial investigation by the Attorney General was not thorough or a cover up to protect a fellow cabinet member.

“If that is the case then the President need to come clean with Nigerians by formally repudiating and rejecting the report. He must then tell Nigerians why the author of such a dastard, useless and worthless report should be included in the new panel.

“Against this backdrop, we are constrained to express our lack of confidence in the new panel headed by the Vice President. Instead we demand an independent commission of inquiry comprising eminent Nigerians of proven records of integrity, independence and competence.

“This is the only way by which we can have confidence that a thorough and impartial investigation will be conducted and by which the President also can reassure the general public that there are no sacred cows in his government for whom there are different set of rules.

“The present situation amounts to the government being the judge in its own cause. We do not believe that justice can be served that way.”

Lawal’s suspension was announced via a statement released by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina.


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