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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Presidency Responds to Calls For The Prosecution of Babachir Lawal And Amb. Oke


Following the sack of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke, Nigrians have called for the duo to be investigated.

President Buhari suspended the former SGF on April 19, 2017, over graft and alleged involvement in the N200 million grass-cutting contract of Presidential Initiative in the North East, PINE. The NIA DG was suspended over the discovery of N13 billion in an Ikoyi apartment, said to belong to NIA.

A statement by Presidential spokesperson, Garba Lawal reads

President Buhari is Committed to Rule of Law, Will Not Shield Anyone From Investigation.
Those who ask the question of what next?

The President has taken the administrative action. All other actions will be taken by relevant government agencies.

The position of the President therefore is that investigation agencies which have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance.

The President who is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution will not stop the investigation of anyone because he has no such power under our laws. This is a decision of the Supreme Court.

The President under our laws can, through the Attorney General enter a nolle prosequi to stop an on-going trial. He may upon conviction, order a pardon.

Beyond these, the president cannot order investigation agencies to not investigate anyone and does not intend to do in this, or any other circumstance.

Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the President expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations.

When and where they have reasonable grounds to charge former or serving officers to court under our laws, they do not require the permission of the President to do so.

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