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Buhari to Senate: I’ve cleared Magu, Bachir of corruption allegations

  • Senator Shenu sani to Buhari: You are a big liar! 
  • Buhari Defends SGF over corruption allegation
  • … as Senate insists SGF is corrupt

‎President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday resubmitted the name of the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Magu, for confirmation appealing to Senate to confirm Magu as substantive chairman of the anti-graft body.‎

Senate President, Bukola Saraki who made the announcement on the floor of the Senate after a closed door session which lasted for one and half hour.

President Muhammadu on Tuesday defended Secretary to Government of the Federation, Engr. David Babachir Lawal over his involvement in N200 million contract on implementation regime of Presidential initiative for the North East saying the senate is not fair to ‎ SGF.

But, Senate has stated that its stand by its report for removal of Babachir as SGF over corruption allegation levied against him by Ad-Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian crisis in North East.

Buhari in his letter dated January 17, to Senate said the signing of report by three senator out of nine senators made it minority report not committee report being an‎ interim report. 

Buhari added that the company (Rholavision Engineering Limited) was not invited at any time by the committee to defend itself against the allegation which eventually formed the fulcrum of the

Buhari’s letter on SGF

Dear Distinguished Senate President, Re-resolution by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria concerning the humanitarian situation in the northeast region particularly in relation to the alleged role of the secretary to the government of the federation, Engr. David Babachir David Lawal in the contract implementation regime of the presidential initiative for the northeast (pine). 

You may recall your letter with reference NASS /8X/R/01/5 dated 15th December, 2016 in respect of the Senate consideration of the report of its ad-hoc committee on the mounting humanitarian crisis in the northeast that conveyed the resolution of the committee as contained in paragraph 1 subsection 8 therein which reads as follows. Engr. Babachir Lawal having contravenes the provisions of part one of the 5th schedule of the 1999 constitution as amended had breached his oath of office and should resign and be prosecuted by the relevant authority, S/075/02/01/16. 

Following a receipt of your letter, I setup a review team to consider the recommendations from the senate committee. I have also conducted further investigation based on Engr Lawal’s response to the allegations and issues raised in the Senate resolution. I have come to the following conclusion that I believe will guide the senate in the proper review of its interim report and eventual resolution. 

1. The report forwarded to the presidency by the senate which informed the decision that Engr Babachir Lawal should resign and be prosecuted by the relevant authority S/075/02/016 was an interim report as against a final report which ought to have be presented to the senate in the plenary for adoption as a binding and final report before submission to the presidency given the weight of allegations made in the report. 

2. The senate committee setup to investigate the mounting humanitarian crisis in the northeast comprised of nine members namely, senator Oluremi Tinubu, senator Mohammed Hassan, Senator Solomon Adeola, senator Ben Murray Bruce, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Senator Theodore Orji, Senator Yahaya A. Abdullahi, Senator Mallam Aliu Wakili and Senator Issac M Alfa. 

3. The review of the interim report shows that the interim report was only signed by only three out of the 9 members namely senator Solomon Adeola, senator Yahaya Abdullahi, and Senator Isaac M. Alfa

4. The signing of the interim report by three out of 9 members of the committee makes it a minority report of the Senate committee and not a committee report being an interim report. Thus, presenting a challenge for the presidency to determine the weight to attach to the report as currently presented. 

5. I have also observed that the senate ad-hoc interim committee report and the votes and proceedings of the Senate have not in its own right establish that Engr Babachir Lawal was ever given an opportunity to appear before the committee and defend himself. 

6. It is also on record that company linked to him Rollervision engineering limited was also not invited at anytime before the committee to defend himself against the allegations which eventually formed the fulcrum of the Senate’s case against the company.

“I will say this clearly, Buhari’s letter is a funeral service for the anti-corruption fight” – Senator Shehu Sani 

You are invited to note that non application of principles of fair hearing by the senate ad-hoc committee is a clear contravention of section 36 (1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and against all principles of rule of law as initiated in the Nigerian legal system as well as the roles of the National Assembly committees on handling of public petitions. 

Consequently, I am of the view that baring other consideration that may arise as a result of subsequent investigation of Engr Lawal by the interim ad-hoc committee. The current report as presented to the presidency in its own right does not meet the principles of fair hearing and compliance with the senate rules for conduct of investigations in matters relating to abuse of office by public officers. 

In replying on the foregoing I am not able to approve the recommendation to remove and prosecute Engr Lawal on the basis of the Senate ad-hoc committee report dated 15th December, 2016.

Corruption allegation against Magu is not addressed in your letter- Senate Tells Buhari

Senate on Tuesday said that the issue of corruption raised against Acting Chairman of Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu is not addressed in President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to Red Chamber.

Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, had transmitted the ‘status report’ on Magu to Saraki since October.

The report said Magu failed their integrity test and would eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the present administration if confirmed.

However, Senate’s spokesman, Abdulahi Sabi while briefing journalists disclosed the Buhari’s letter to Senate failed to address allegation of corruption against anti-graft boss.

Buhari letter to Senate on Magu dated January 17, had said:

“‎Dear Distinguished Senate President, renomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). I write with reference to your letter no NASS /85/R/016 dated 15th December, 2016 where in you conveyed to me the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reached on the same Thursday 15th December 2016 in respect of my earlier request for the confirmation and appointment of Mr Ibrahim Magu Mustapha the nominee as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

“I have taken due note of the contents of the aforesaid resolution as it concerns the nominee particularly the conclusion of the Distinguished Senate not to confirm the nomination of Mr Magu due to a security report on the nominee issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) and addressed to the Senate via a letter dated 3rd October 2016.

“Upon receipt of this said resolution I took administrative steps within the Executive arm of government to ensure the speedy clarification of issues relying upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision. This steps included a request for the response of the nominee to the allegations contained in the report out of desire to ensure that the credibility of our anti-corruption campaign is not compromised or call to question. 

“As the Distinguished Senate you will recall the prosecution of the anti-corruption war in all aspects of our polity is a programme to which my administration as committed itself since our inauguration on May 29th, 2015. In undertaking this campaign, we have been guided by the need for urgency, consolidation and improvement of our present statutory framework for addressing the scourge of corruption in our country as well as taking the benefits of institutional memory and present capacity in taking the campaign forward. 

“It is the above context you will agree with me that there’s a need to maintain a current momentum and capacity of the EFCC since May 29th, 2015. It is in the above context that I therefore request to grace your indulgence of this distinguished senate to favourably accept my renomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha for the position of the EFCC having received adequate clarification considering the matter relied upon by the Senate in arriving at its decision. 

“Mr President of the Senate, I make this request for a favourable reconsideration by this distinguished chamber against the background of the critical role of the Senate in driving the anti-corruption campaign of the present administration through a proactive legislative agenda and adequate appropriation support for the important work of the agency such as the EFCC. 

“I use this opportunity to reassure the distinguished senators of my determination the continued to pursue synergy between the executive and the legislative arms in our common mission to bequeath a more prosperous and value driven country to the generation after us. 

“Please accept the Distinguished Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration and esteem. “

BUHARI’S LETTER IS FULL OF LIES – SANI

Senator Shehu Sani who is the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee said that it was shocking to him that such letter can come from Presidency with such misinformation and outright distortions.

Shehu said,”‎They lied by saying that the committee didn’t invite the the SGF: the committee invited the SGF and the letter was acknowledged by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF, Mr Aminu (Nadehu) spelling not sure?

“To make sure that we buttress our point, we made a paid advert in three or four national dailies: this one was published on Dec. 2, 2016 and the SGF is clearly mentioned as one of those that is expected to come and appear before the National Assembly.

“If they have the intention of simply reaching a pre-determined conclusion by covering up on the issues raised by the committee, that is one thing.

“Secondly, issues were raised that only three members of the committee signed that interim report, that was also a second lie coming from the Presidency.

“I have a copy of the interim report which was initially signed by seven members of the 9 members of that committee and i am going to submit it to the clerk of the Senate.

“Even if it is 9 and then three people sign, we still have a quorum, but here i have 7 people.

“I will say also that, i listened to the list of the names that were read and they omitted the chairman which is myself.”

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