The Ahmed Makarfi-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Federal Government’s suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation David Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency Ambassador Ayo Oke as a distraction.
The main opposition party dismissed reports that the suspension of the two presidential aides would add credibility to President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption drive.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the Committee Dayo Adeyeye in Abuja on Thursday, stressed that the suspension is another ruse to deceive Nigerians and ‘dress up the failed anti-corruption war in a new garb’.
Recall that a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, announced that the SGF was suspended following his indictment in a grass cutting scandal of over N200million.
The committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also ordered to investigate the discovery of N15billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has made a claim.
According to the statement, the three-man Committee also include the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.
But the PDP rejected the committee and called for an independent commission of inquiry comprising of eminent Nigerians of proven integrity to probe the matter.
“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.
“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.
“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”, the statement reads in part.