President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and ordered for an investigation the allegations of violations of law and due process made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).
But while the statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity cited the allegations bothering on contract awards at PINE as the basis of his suspension, Abusidiqu has gathered there are more to the allegations leveled against the suspended SGF.
Documents obtained by Abusidiqu.com revealed that Babachir Lawal abused due process in the discharge of his duties as the SGF as contained in an open petition written by Comrade Usman Umar to the president.
The SGF amongst other functions coordinates the policy design and formulation by ministries, department and agencies for the approval of government. He also coordinates the appointment of the headship of statutory bodies and commissions following the regulations of the relevant ministries for the approval of the president.
But the discharge of these functions is exactly where Babachir Lawal has committed abuse of due process.
According to an open petition to the president, Babachir Lawal appointed Professor Jeffery Barminas, who is believed to be his preferred choice as the Director General for the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), without following the process laid down for the appointment into such position by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
According to the procedure laid down by the ministry, vacancy for the position of the DG of NARICT must be advertised and interested candidates made to pass through an exam and interview following which names of the best is forwarded to the minister for onward transmission to the president for approval.
But Babachir Lawal sidelined the ministry, abandoned due process and single-handedly selected Professor Barminas for the position, thereby creating tension in the agency.
This prompted the petition by Comrade Usman Umar, drawing the attention of the president to the abuse of due process by the suspended SGF, Babachir Lawal.
Our source said the single-handed appointment of the DG of NARICT by Lawal is one out of many as he is in the habit of short-changing the process to nominate candidates of his personal interest into vacant positions in various agencies of government.
Unconfirmed report indicates that the SGF changed the name of the National Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Haiya Ramatu Tijani, who was recently appointed the Executive Director, Loans Department, Security Issuance and Market Development at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to that of one Hajiya Rahimatu Tijani, who is a personal choice of the suspended SGF.
The reported change which we are not able to confirm created confusion causing the APC women Leader to issue a statement to state that she was not the one appointment. But this development reportedly got to the presidency where it was ordered that the appointment be immediately reverted to the APC National Women Leader, Hajiya Ramatu Tijani.
Incidences like this may have led to the jubilation at the All Progressives Congress secretariat, following the announcement of his suspension earlier today.
But apart from the petition by Usman Umar and several other infractions by the suspended SGF, the recommendation of Senate ad hoc committee on the humanitarian crisis in the north-east, which had investigated the management of funds for internally displaced persons in the region by the Presidential Initiative on the North-east (PINE) is said to have also hugely contributed to his suspension.
See the open petition by Usman Umar