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Alleged IDP Fraud: Senate Insists Suspended SGF Babachir Lawal Must Be Prosecuted

Babachir Lawal

The senate again today called for the prosecution of suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, for allegedly abusing his office as the chairman of the Presidential Initiative of the North East PINE.

Submitting its final report before the house, Chairman of the Senate Ad-Hoc Cttee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, Shehu Sani, told the senate that investigations carried out by the committee showed that PINE flagrantly flouted Procurement Laws in Contract Awards.
Sani stated that PINE contributed N50Million to two different Humanitarian Conferences and less than N2Million to IDPs themselves.

Speaking further, Sani said that a lot of PINE Contracts were awarded to friends and cronies of people in Government. He said the committee confirmed from BVN records at the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN that suspended SGF Babachir Lawal is still signatory to one of the companies that was awarded a N200 million contract to clear invasive grasses.

Senator Na’Allah who was also a member of the committee, disclosed that N20 million was paid as consultancy fee for a N200 million contract.

Last December, the senate called for the resignation and prosecution of Babachir after he was indicted in the North East Humanitarian crisis reprort. Presidnet Buhari had written to the senate saying he could not grant their request to sack and prosecute Babachir because he was not given fair hearing by the committee. Even with three invitations afterwards, Babachir has failed to appear before the committee to answer questions surrounding his alleged involvement in corruption.

On April 19th, President Buhari ordered his suspension and asked a threee man panel led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate the corruption allegations against Babachir. Osinbajo’s panel is expected to deliver its report today May 3rd.

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