President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Boss Gida Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and approved the sack of the former SGF, Babachir David Lawal, along with the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, and ordered them to face investigative agencies for possible prosecution.
The president also assured Nigerians that he would not interfere in their independent investigation and its aftermath. A statement by the president’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, said whereas the sack of the two former officers by Buhari was a mere administrative action, further actions would be taken against the duo by both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Buhari’s disciplinary action on Babachir and Oke as an insult and totally unacceptable, calling for the President’s immediate impeachment.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, dated October 30, 2017, the PDP said:
1. The statement on the sack of Alhaji Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ayo Oke, the former Director General of Nigerian Intelligent Agency (NIA) is a slap on the face of Nigerians. It is an insult on the collective intelligence of our people who have waited patiently for the President’s reaction on the humongous act of corruption by two of his principal aides and this is totally unacceptable.
2. First and foremost, we had disagreed with the President last year when he decided to set up the panel headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the matter because we thought that was the wrong course of action to take. Ordinarily, cases of corruption or alleged cases of misappropriation of funds are supposed to be referred to institutions that are saddled with the responsibility to investigate and prosecute such matters which is the ICPC and the EFCC if there is any prima facie case against them.
3. But it appears not all animals are equal under the Buhari APC administration. Some people are treated with kid gloves while others particularly those in opposition are subjected to all manner of harrowing experiences. One of the Senators of the APC, Senator Shehu Sani of Kaduna State succinctly put the matter when he said that this administration uses deodorant to fight corruption when it comes to some APC members and President Buhari’s kitchen Cabinet and insecticides when it involves members of the opposition and those in the National Assembly.
4. It took the President almost one year to attend to this matter while the culprits were having a field day at home and enjoying themselves. Whereas, in the case of the opposition especially the PDP members, even when the evidence is flimsy they will be visited with multiple harassment and intimidation for months and weeks without proper trial.
5. We site the case of Sambo Dasuki who has been in detention for over two years and running even when many courts in Nigeria and the ECOWAS Court have ordered for his release, but the President has fragrantly disobeyed these court orders which again are a violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is an impeachable offence. So the President cannot just sack Ayo Oke and Babachir Lawal and expect us to be clapping for him.
6. We believe that we are operating under a democracy and a Constitution that governs our affairs. To have subjected these people to different sets of rule and treatment is totally unacceptable. Nigerians are the same under the law and Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke should not be tried by the Presidency while others are hounded by the EFCC and ICPC.
7. These actions of Mr. President are therefore a breach of his oath of office which he swore to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to be fair and just to all Nigerians without any discrimination whatsoever. The action of the President is a gross violation of his constitutional oath and therefore constitutes a veritable ground for impeachment .Using and applying different laws to different people in the country is a direct assault on the constitution and the rule of law . Consequently, we call on the National Assembly to begin processes to impeach the President for breach of the Constitution and fragrance disobedient to the laws of Nigeria.
8. We totally reject these actions and the law should follow its full course on the issues of these officers. In other words, their case should be referred to the EFCC for proper investigation and trial, more so when the President has not told us what the report of the findings was. Nigerians are entitled to know the findings of the panel headed by the Vice President. The report should be made public since it is the people’s money that is involved.
9. The President has by his actions taken Nigeria to the level of a banana republic. We are not in a banana republic, this is the Federal Republic of Nigeria . Three successive governments of the PDP did not act in the manner President Buhari is acting.
10. There is no doubt that the sudden sack of the SGF and the DG of NIA is just a consequence of the backlash on the Abdulrasheed Maina saga. Up till now there’s no answer to the pertinent questions we have asked on the Maina saga. The government cares less about the feelings and opinions of Nigerians. This kind of arrogance is unprecedented in the history of this county. We again call for the arrest and investigation of the two Ministers involved in the return of Maina into the Civil Service, that is, the Minister of Interior, Bello Dambazau and Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice.
God bless the PDP! God bless Nigeria!!