N2.5b Fraud: Buhari sacks Babachir Lawal as chairman of presidential boards committee

Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has removed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal as chairman of the presidential committee on the reconstitution of federal government boards of parastatals, agencies and commissions.

According to a report on Daily Trust, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been appointed to chair the presidential committee.

It was also gathered that the chairman of NDLEA Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah has been appointed to head the secretariat of the committee.

“The SGF is no longer in charge of that responsibility, for obvious reasons,” a source said.

Recall that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, recently queried the SGF over alleged fraud at the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).

The Senate ad-hoc committee on mounting crisis of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast had accused the SGF of several misdeeds including failing to account for N2.5 billion PINE funds. However, the SGF denied all the allegations.

But in his New Year message, President Buhari admitted that his “government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs.”

“We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits,” he added.

Buhari had in October, 2015 empowered an eight-member committee, headed by Babachir, to compile names of prospective appointees into federal government boards, parastatals and agencies.

Members of the committee included Alhaji Mai Mala Buni (northeast), Alhaji Zakari Ede (north central), Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir (north west), Chief Hillard Etagbo Eta (south-south), Chief Pius Akinyelure (south west), Chief Emmanuel Eneukwe (south east) and Mr. Gideon Sammani, a senior special assistant to the president as secretary.

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