Buhari cancels FEC meeting (receives corruption probe report on SGF, NIA boss) - Full Gist NG


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Buhari cancels FEC meeting (receives corruption probe report on SGF, NIA boss)

Buhari cancels FEC meeting *receives corruption probe report on SGF, NIA boss

In a surprise move, President Muhammad Buhari has put off today's Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The FEC meeting, which holds every Wednesday at the Aso Rock Villa, would have been his first since he returned last Saturday from a 103-day long medical vacation in London. In his absence, then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had presided over the meetings every Wednesday.

No reason has yet been offered by presidency officials on why the meeting was cancelled by Buhari, who they said would be working from his official residence for now to enable renovation of his office reportedly vandalised by rodents in his three-month absence.

Similar situations had played out after Buhari returned from an earlier medical vacation in March this year, as he said he needed more time to rest at home as advised by his doctors.

However, Buhatu's spokesman, Femi Adesina, announced that the president would by noon today receive from Osinbajo the report of the probe into corruption allegations against suspended Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke.

Osinbajo chaired the probe panel and the report was said to have been ready on the eve of Buhari's departure for London on May 7, 2017.

However, no action had been taken on it as it was not formally handed over to Buhari then, and Osinbajo, being the chairman of the probe panel, declined to act on it even as Acting President.

Other members of the probe panel are Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.

Buhari had raised the investigative panel on April 19, 2017 following allegations of corruption against the two men, and gave it a 14-day timeline to turn in a report.

Lawal was suspended and investigated for allegedly breaching due process and influencing grass-cutting contract awards running into millions of naira under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) to his companies.

Oke was also suspended and quizzed to explain the $43 million he claimed belonged to the NIA but were uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a posh private residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.

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