Order Arrest, Prosecution Of Lawal, Oke Now:- Says Huriwa
Following the termination of the appointment of the indicted erstwhile secretary to the government of the federation Mr. Babachir Lawal and his replacement with Boss Mustapha, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked that the duo of Babachir Lawal and Oke, erstwhile Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) be arrested and prosecuted by both ICPC and EFCC.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA also criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to use the sacking of the erstwhile SGF to balance the clear lopsidedness in the composition of his kitchen cabinet dominated exclusively by Northern Hausa/Fulani Moslems and completely alienated the South East of Nigeria.
The rights group which however said the belated sack of the duo of Lawal and Oke was a step in the right direction stated that the directive from president Buhari stopped short of ordering the immediate arrest of both former top shots of his government by all the relevant anti-graft institutions.
HURIWA said it is however the general expectations of most Nigerians and observers the world over, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Offences Commission (ICPC) will not behave like zombies and fail to activate effective mechanisms for the immediate arrest and prosecution in the competent courts of law of the indicted top federal government political and security officials.
Besides, the Rights group has also tasked all credible civil rights bodies to monitor closely the actions of both the EFCC and ICPC in the eventual arrest and prosecution of the duo because both men had overwhelming influences within the corridors of power.
“Let all the credible Non-governmental bodies come together as a coalition of patriots to set up effective monitoring mechanisms to ensure that all the relevant law enforcement institutions are compelled to do the needful in this instance and not be allowed to deliberately undermine or destroy the prosecution of these two powerful former presidency officials.
"The erstwhile SGF is alleged to be very close to the acting chairman of EFCC because the EFCC acting Chairman has been sighted in the Maitama residence of the now sacked SGF Babachir Lawa.”
Speaking on the failure of president Buhari to respect federal character principle in the replacement of the now dismissed SGF, the Rights group said this continuous pattern of gross disrespect to the constitution is disastrous.” HURIWA recalled that a statement from the Presidency said the President Muhammadu Buhari has studied the report of the panel headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, which investigated allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, and the Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke.
HURIWA said the official presidential statement affirmed that the President accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of Mr. Lawal, and has appointed Mr. Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The appointment takes immediate effect.
Also, President Buhari also approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke, and has further approved the setting up of a three-member panel to, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the Agency and make appropriate recommendations.