By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah and Ahuraka Isah, Abuja
There were indications yesterday that the the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo-led panel investigating allegations of financial impropriety against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, and the discovery of N13.3 billion discovered in Ikoyi Towers by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may extend its probe beyond today.
The 14-day deadline handed down by President Muhammadu Buhari to the three-man committee, which has the the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as the National Security Adviser as members, expires today.
An impeccable source at the presidency told LEADERSHIP yesterday that the committee was yet to conclude its work and may not submit its report to the president today as mandated.
“There is no way the committee can submit its report tomorrow (today) because as far as I know, it has not finished work on the ongoing probe it was mandated to carry out”, the source who did not want his name in print said.
Corroborating this, the chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna Central), hinted yesterday that the Senate will send its final report to the Vice President Osinbajo-led committee after receiving it at the plenary today.
With this development, it is apparent that the Osinbajo probe committee may not be nursing any plan to conclude work or submit its report to the president today.
Shehu said, following Osibanjo’s request, the Senate will today forward the final report indicting the suspended SGF, David Babachir Lawal to the panel probing Lawal and NIA DG, Ayo Oke.
The lawmaker said, “The ad-hoc committee will make a copy of the final report to Osibanjo-led panel after laying it at the floor of the senate tomorrow (which is today)”.
Asked about his expectation of the outcome of Osibanjo-led panel, Sani said, “The report contains damning allegations that does not require me to speak further on it, since the committee will now submit the full report on the matter’’.
The committee had In a letter dated March 15, 2017 and addressed to the SGF, summoned him to appear before it for needed clarification on earlier indictment slammed on him over alleged mismanagement of funds given to the Presidential Initiative on the North East, PINE.
Lawal declined to honour this invitation and subsequent ones to appear before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee.
When the Shehu sani’s committee laid its interim report before the Senate plenary, the Red Chamber asked the SGF to resign his appointment following alleged complicity in the diversion of the North East humanitarian funds.
But the SGF then said that calls by the Senate for his resignation and prosecution were attempt to rubbish his person.