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Senate calls for SGF’s resignation, prosecution

The Senate yesterday asked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal to resign over his involvement in contract scandal at…

The Senate yesterday asked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal to resign over his involvement in contract scandal at the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).

The call followed presentation of an interim report of the ad-hoc committee on mounting humanitarian crisis in the North-east chaired by Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna).

The committee was constituted by the Senate to investigate the N1.3billion contracts allegedly awarded by PINE under the supervision of the SGF in October.

Specifically, the Senate said the SGF should resign and accordingly be prosecuted by relevant agencies.

Responding through a text message to our reporter yesterday, Lawal said “I can recognise a vendetta and a witch hunt when I see one. So I am wondering if I should bother myself about it at all.

“You may wish to know that I was never invited to the hearing. So the Senate has an agenda best known to its leaders.”

Lawal added that: “Corruption is fighting to drag all good men down to its muddy, slimy level. Many of those calling for my resignation are very good customers of EFCC, ICPC and the Courts but are still sitting smugly in their Senate seats.”

The Senate also recommended that any public Officer culpable of contravening any of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations pertaining to the award of the PINE contracts should be suspended and prosecuted by the relevant authorities.

Presenting the report, Sani said PINE took undue advantage of the provision of emergency situation to violate the Public Procurement Act, 2007 to over inflate contracts.

“Babachir’s company, Rholavision Engineering Limited was awarded consultancy contract for the removal of the invasive plant species in Yobe state on 8th March, 2016. Although, Engr. Babachir resigned the directorship of the said company in September, 2016, it is on record that he is still the signatory to accounts of the company,” he said.

He said the committee has uncovered that 95 to 100 percent of all contracts awarded by PINE have been paid even as some contracts are yet to be fully executed.

 

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