Pressure mounts on Buhari to do more to sacked SGF
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night directed the EFCC to continue investigations of two sacked officials he just sacked.
Buhari’s spokesperson Garba Shehu said this in a statement following the sack of ex-SGF Babachir Lawal and the National Intelligence Agency DG Ayodele Oke.
“The position of the President therefore is that investigation agencies which have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance,” he said.
According to him, the president is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution will not stop the investigation of anyone because he has no such power under our laws.
“This is a decision of the Supreme Court.”
President Buhari had ordered the sack of both men earlier on Monday after reviewing the panel report that investigated allegations against them. The panel was headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Shehu said the two men were already being investigated by the anti-corruption agencies.
“Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the President expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations,” the spokesperson said.
Some civil society organisations, however, ask Buhari to do more than boot out the indicted officials.
“This is a positive development in the fight against grand corruption, although this decision is coming rather late,” SERAP said in a statement signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale.
“Buhari now has to go a step further by making sure that both Lawal and Oke are promptly brought to justice in fair trials.”
“What the government needs at this time is a revolutionary approach to the fight against corruption if Buhari is to show his commitment to ‘kill’ corruption before corruption ‘kills’ Nigeria.
“Without effective prosecution of high-ranking public officials charged with corruption, this government’s fight against corruption may sadly turn out to be all motion and no movement, and this will eventually undermine the legitimacy of the anti-corruption efforts,” Adewale said.
The group also reminded Buhari to pursue criminal charges against the fugitive former head of presidential task force on pension reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Babachir had been an ally of the president, and one of the strong planks of the Aso Rock cabal. He and the president has been together since the CPC days—when Babchir chaired the Adamawa chapter of the party.
The CPC was one of the five legacy parties, including the nPDP that formed the ruling APC.