9 October 2017
By CHUKWUDERA EZE
Distinguished legal scholar, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), has said that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been too slow to act on the report which indicted two senior government officials.
“On the specific issue of the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government and the Director of the NIA, I would agree that action has been much too slow,” Sagay told Channels TV’s Politics Today on Sunday evening.
Sagay, who heads Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, said Buhari needed to take an ‘immediate action’ on the two of the high-profile corruption cases that came to light under his watch.
“There should be an immediate decision on this matter so that we can put it to rest and move on,” he said.
The boss of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ambassador Ayo Oke and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal were suspended in April for their alleged complicity in separate corrupt practices.
A three-man committee comprising Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser Mohammed Babagana Monguno, and Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami was set up by President Buhari to investigate the allegations against the two men.
Lawal was grilled by the Osinbajo-led three-man Presidential panel over the N220 million meant for welfare of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in North-East, while Oke was suspended over the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which NIA has made a claim.
The Committee’s report was submitted in August but the president is yet to take action on it.
Professor Sagay, however, said he had no doubt that the government is committed to fighting corruption in accordance with its mandate and promises. The government, he said, is fighting corruption “all its might and resources.”