By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senate yesterday disclosed that, despite inexplicable delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to implement recommendations of the investigative panel on alleged fraudulent activities of former SGF, Babachir Lawal and NIA boss, Ayodele Oke, the Lawmakers are finally vindicated by the recent sacking.
The executive had earlier attempted to blackmail the 8th Senate when Senators insisted that the accused officials must be probed and sacked.
Lawal was found culpable in a slew of allegations that included questionable diversion of funds meant for the internally displaced persons in the North-east.
Oke however, was the head of NIA when the EFCC found N13 billion belonging to the foreign intelligence office in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, on April 12, 2017.
Headed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the investigative panel recommended Babachir and Oke’s dismissal, after looking into the circumstances surrounding the cash haul and diversion in a report submitted to President Muhammad Buhari.
Consequently, after delaying action for several months, the President has formally sacked the suspended SGF, Lawal and NIA boss, Oke on Monday.
Lawal was quickly replaced by Boss Mustapha who until his appointment was the Director General of the Nigeria inland Waterways.
The Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah at the Tuesday moved a motion of urgent importance, citing Order 42 of the Senate rules and Section 80 (2b) of the 1999 constitution which, he argued, have mandated the Senate to expose corrupt and inefficient public officers.
According to Na’allah, there were some conceivable measures employed by the executive to ridicule the good image of Senate and that youths were also used to stage protest against the demand of lawmakers to ensure probe of the accused government officials.
He however, noted that with the sacking, the insistence of Senators for probe has been justified and that lawmakers will not be deterred to conclude other investigations that are pending, further urging the Senate committees mandated to discharge the duties to espedite actions.
Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the executive for taking the right step and said the sack of the accused officials will strengthen the fight against corruption.
“I want to commend government for doing the right thing on this matter because when we started the probe, it was more of blackmail on us but we could not stop in our commitment to expose corruption.
“Now, youths that are sometimes used by corrupt politicians should no longer make themselves for use. Today, we are vindicated and this will strengthen the fight against corruption” Saraki stated.