Thursday, 20 April 2017

NIGERIA: Buhari Suspends Two Top Officials Over $43m Cash Found In Lagos

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the immediate suspension of two top officials of his administration, a statement released by the Presidency confirmed on today (Wednesday, April 19, 2017).

The two officials, Babachir Lawal – Secretary General of the Federation (SGF) and Ambassador Ayo Oke – Director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) – the country’s spy agency – are expected to hand over to most senior officers in their respective offices during a two-week investigation period.

‘‘A three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, is to conduct both investigations. The Committee is to submit its report to the President within 14 days,’‘ the statement confirmed.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

The SGF’s suspension was related to alleged violations of law and due process in the award of contracts relating to rebuilding efforts in the country’s north-east. An earlier probe cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The spy chief’s case is related to the recent find of $43m in a Lagos apartment by the anti-graft outfit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The NIA boss is on record to have said the money belonged to his institution.

The investigation is also to enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds,’‘ the statement added.