Former SGF, Babachir Lawal welcomes EFCC probe on grass-cutting scandal

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, says he is happy with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s investigations  into allegations of corruption against him.

Mr Lawal said this during an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s Hard Copy. “I like it (the investigation)”.

In fact, I had always wanted the EFCC to be involved because the EFCC has the capacity both in terms of equipment and personnel to get to the truth,” he said.

Mr Lawal, who was fired as SGF by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 30, 2017 after being indicted and investigated for corruption, does not expect his relationship with the President to affect the investigation.

He said, “If the President were to be my brother, does it mean we cease to be brothers because I am being investigated by the EFCC? A relationship breaks because of a false accusation against an innocent man.”

President Buhari fired Mr Lawal, more than two months after he received the report of the probe panel he set up and after heavy criticism of how he handles graft allegations against his allies.

Vice President Osinbajo who headed the committee that probed Mr Lawal had submitted the report to the President on August 23

.Before being fired, Mr Lawal was on suspension for more than three months to allow for the investigation.

He was suspended in April for allegedly violating the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

In suspending him, the President set up a three-man panel headed by the Vice President.

Attorney-General of the Federation and the National Security Adviser were the two other members of the panel.

The committee was given 14 days to complete its investigation and submit its report to the President.

It was, however, unable to submit the report on schedule as the President travelled to London on May 7 for medical attention, a trip that kept him away from the country for more than three months.

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