After months of mounting pressure, President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked Babachir Lawal, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), and Ayodele Oke, director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA),
To this end, the president has promptly replaced Lawal with Boss Mustapha as the new secretary to the government of the federation with immediate effect.
According to a press statement signed by Femi Adesina, the president’s special adviser on media and publicity, the dismissal of Lawal and Oke is based on the recommendation of the Presidential Investigation Panel headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
His statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has studied the report of the panel headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, which investigated allegations against the suspended secretary to the government of the federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal, and the director general, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke.
“The President accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of Lawal, and has appointed Mr. Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The appointment takes immediate effect.
“President Buhari also approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke, and has further approved the setting up of a three-member panel too, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the agency and make appropriate recommendations.”
The dismissals come after months of mounting pressure on the president to fire both for separate corruption allegations.
The president suspended Lawal on April 19 due to allegations of his complicity in the misappropriation of funds earmarked for the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).
He was indicted by an ad-hoc Senate committee who alleged that he had awarded a contract of over N200 million to dispose of ‘invasive plant species’ in IDP camps to a company where he had vested interest.
Oke was suspended after his public involvement in the controversial N13 billion loot recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an Ikoyi apartment in April. He had laid claim to the funds, saying it was earmarked by the agency for covert operations.
The president received the panel report from VP Osinbajo after his return from medical vacation in August and has been placed under pressure ever since to make his decision public.
The other members of the three-man panel are National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.