The Makarfi-led arm of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has criticized the decision of the Federal Government over the suspension of Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke.
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, opined that the duo should have been arrested and detained as it had done to PDP members and other Nigerian accused of corruption rather than being suspended.
“We are alarmed at the suspension of the SGF at a time that Nigerians and the international community are excitedly enjoying the theatre 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 leveled 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 least, double standard.” the statement read.
The opposition party also said only an independent commission of inquiry made up of Nigerians with proven integrity, rather than “Cabinet members” was fit to undertake an impartial investigation into the allegations.
Also, the statement questioned the decision of the Presidency to include the AGF, who had earlier cleared Lawal in the grass-cutting saga, in the investigative panel.
“This is especially important given the fact that we recently travelled this road when the President asked the Attorney General to investigate the SGF (on this same matter) and the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (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 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 read in part.
Lawal and Oke were suspended by the Presidency over allegations of awarding multi-million grass cutting contract under the Presidential Initiative for North East ,PINE, which his office supervised to companies where he had interests and the discovery of huge sum in foreign and local currencies in a residential apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, respectively.
By Bright Bassey