The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has described Wednesday’s suspension of Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, as demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to anti-corruption fight.
National Chairman of the council, Muhammedu Nalado, who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said that the suspension of Lawal and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, would allow for proper investigation of alleged corruption cases against them.
The Presidency had on Wednesday announced the suspension both men and constituted a committee to investigate allegations against them.
Nalado said that if the NIA boss could be suspended, it meant that the present administration really had zero-tolerance for corruption.
“The fact that it also affected the SGF shows the seriousness of the administration in fighting corruption.
“Remember that this SGF was appointed by the government of the day which has come with the aim of fighting corruption.
“If they can now be suspended to clear themselves of the allegations against them, I think that it is a welcomed development.
“It is going to give more confidence to Nigerians that this fight is not being selective and that everybody affected will get equal treatment,’’ he said.
The chairman, however, explained that the suspension was not confirmation that the men committed the offences, adding that the measure was to allow the investigation to go without interference.
“It is a proper thing to do. People should not look at them as if they have committed the offence. After the investigation, I believe a White Paper will be released and that is when people will know the fate of those suspended.’’
On the timing of the action, Nalado said it could never be late, insisting that it was “better for you to do something perfectly than to do it half-hazardly, without due process’’.
He commended the president for constituting a committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the allegations.
“Normally, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), like other establishments of the government, is directly or indirectly under the SGF. So, setting up a committee to establish the fact is a good idea.
“The office of a vice president is a big and strong office to head such investigative committee. If you put a lower office to head it, the investigation and its outcome may be influenced or manipulated.’’