By Olufunke Olorunfemi
Abuja, (An24)- The Fate of the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayo Oke and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal, may be hanging in a balance as President Muhammadu Buhari departs to London for follow-up medicals, indefinitely.
Last week, the Office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who is the head of the three-man Presidential probe panel, announced that the report which was initially scheduled to be submitted on Wednesday was now to be submitted on Monday, 8th of May.
However, President Buhari left the shores of the country late Sunday night after receiving the 82 freed Chibok girls at his official residence.
Before his departure, the President late that night received Osinbajo alongside Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Zamfara state governor who is also the chairman of the governors’ forum, Abdulaziz Yari in his official residence.
It is yet to be known if the report was submitted to President at that point, however, unconfirmed sources at the Aso Rock offered that the Presidency may not want the report to be made public with the sensitivity of some critical findings made.
However, Osinbajo may have received briefings from the President on the next line of action on the matter.
President Buhari had suspended the SGF and the DG NIA setting up a committee to carry out a full-scale investigation into the issues surrounding the two of them. The committee was given 14 days to complete its tasks and submit a report to the President.
Part of the tasks of the Osinbajo led committee was to investigate why the NIA, Nigeria’s Foreign Security agency kept $43.4m, N23m and £27,000 (N13bn) in a house in Ikoyi. The money was seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, following a tip-off from a whistle-blower.
A statement by Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina, had said the investigation was 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 committee is said to have quizzed the suspended NIA DG, his wife, Julius Berger, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele and directors from the NIA.
The Osinbajo led panel which was also saddled with the responsibility to investigate the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) quizzed him over his involvement in the award of over N200 million grass-clearing contract to a company in which he had a stake as executive director until September 2016.