By Mustapha Usman, Kano
The Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, pending the completion of investigation on the allegations of corruption against him.
The SGF came under fire for allegedly awarding contract to his own company, RholaVision Engineering LTD, to clear ‘invasive plant species’.
Addressing journalists at the CITAD’s office in Kano on Monday, the Executive Secretary of CITAD, Yunusa Ya’u, alleged that the funds believed to have been diverted by the SGF were meant for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
According to Mr Ya’u, the ‘grass-cutting’ contract was awarded by the SGF at the expense of the IDPs who were dying on daily basis due to starvation.
He labelled the contract as a misplacement of priority and a clear case of misappropriation of funds.
Mr Ya’u also alleged that Mr Lawal was the director of the RholaVision while he holds a public office.
The activist also expressed displeasure over the presidency’s absolving of the embattled SGF, saying the president should have granted the Senate’s prayer to suspend him until conclusion of investigation.
He also maintained that if corruption is not properly addressed, the whole Buhari administration’s efforts to rebuild the ravaged northeast would be futile.
“This saga has sadly thrown the anti-corruption agenda of Buhari’s administration into disrepute. We believe the president can still revive it and the only way to do so is to immediately suspend Babachir from office to face thorough investigation.
“We at CITAD strongly call on Buhari to suspend SGF. We also call on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to hand over the file of the case to both EFCC and ICPC and also implore Babachir himself to honorably resign until he has been cleared by competent agencies.
“We support the president’s commitment to fighting corruption but we demand that he treats all corruption cases equally. This is how can assure the public that he truly belongs to all,” he added.