SGF Babachir Lawal and Senate Trade Words over N127bn IDP Fund Fraud
There has been an ongoing exchange of words between the Nigerian Senate and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal over the alleged diversion of N127bn IDP fund.
The Senate ad-hoc committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the Northeast headed by Senator Shehu Sani, on Wednesday, presented its report to the Senate and faulted the manner in which the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) carried out its activities.
A portion of the report showed that the committee found that:
“That the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE) took undue advantage of the provision of emergency situation contract award in the Public’ Procurement Act, 2007 to inflate contracts.
“Not only that, contracts were awarded to companies belonging to top government officials’ cronies, family members and close associates. For example, Rholavision Engineering Limited incorporated in 1990 with RC No. 159855 at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja, to carry out information and communication technology services, anchored by Engr. Babachir Lawal, the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was awarded consultancy contract for the removal of the invasive plant species in Yobe state on 8th March, 2016. Although, Engr. Babachir resigned the directorship of the said company in September, 2016, it is on record that he is still the signatory to accounts of the company.”
The SGF has however reacted to the senate’s committee report, describing it as an undue attempt to halt his ascendancy.
The Nation quotes Lawal to have said:
“The Senate is talking balderdash; it has developed the habit of the ‘bring him down syndrome’. Nigerians have decided that we should destroy our best; we should all destroy the promising and best among us by bringing people down without a cause. This is just how I saw it.
“I have the report of the Senate Committee in which it was said that I didn’t resign from Rholavision Nigeria Limited. Let me tell you, Rholavision was formed by me in December 1990, and it has been a company that was run very successfully.
“Now, when I was appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, I resigned from that company on 18th August 2015. I can see that in their report, they are talking about 2016. I don’t know where they got their facts.”
Many Nigerians have joined the call made by the senate that the SGF be forced to resign and be prosecuted by the federal government for violating civil service regulations and for fraud.
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