President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the recommendation of the senate for the sack of Babachir Lawal as secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).
Buhari said his decision was informed by the failure of the senate ad hoc committee on humanitarian crisis in the northeast to give Lawal a fair hearing.
?He conveyed his decision in a letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday.
In December 2016, the senate recommended the sack of Lawal for alleged corruption.
In its report, the senate ad hoc committee, which investigated the diversion of funds for internally displaced persons in the northeast, and was chaired by Shehu Sani, a senator from Kaduna central, accused Lawal of receiving a kickback of N200m through his company, Rholavision Limited, from a company he awarded a contract for the clearing of invasive plant species in Yobe state.?
?But Buhari dismissed the document as a “minority report”, saying that “the senate committee comprised nine members” but only three persons signed it.?
“The review of the interim report showed that only three members signed the report. ?This makes it a minority report of a senate committee?,” he said.
He said Lawal was not given the opportunity to clear himself of the allegations, and that the company linked to him was not accorded the chance as well.?
“The current report does not meet the principle of fair hearing? required in cases of abuse of office by public officer,” he said.?
Reacting to the letter, Sani, chairman of the committee, described the current anti-corruption war of the president as a farce.?
“This letter is a funeral service of the president’s anti-corruption war,” he said.?
“When it comes to fighting corruption in the national assembly and the judiciary, the president uses insecticide, but when it comes to the presidency he uses deodorant?.”
He also explained that the SGF was invited personally and through the media?, but that he chose to ignore the invitation.
He added that seven of nine members of the committee signed the interim report, and that Buhari’s letter absolving L?awal of guilt was full of lies.