President Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the 3-man Presidential Panel Probing Committee, headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to suspend all government officials, including Ministers, linked in both the Ikoyi loot and grass cutting scandal.
The Panel, comprising the National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, is probing the allegations of violations of law and due process, made against the suspended SGF, in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East, and the $43 Million recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in Ikoyi.
The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Friday, had tendered bulky “evidential” documents, regarding the recovered fund.
Recall, that the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, had already been linked to the Ikoyi scandal, by the former Minister of Aviation, Fani-Kayode, and Lere Olayinka, Spokesman to the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Already, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, had been suspended, as major actors in the alleged corruption episode.
The Panel, constituted on Wednesday, was given a 14-days deadline, to submit its report to Buhari.
The source said: “The President has authorised the panel to suspend all government officials linked to the two cases. He has asked the panel to do this, even before the conclusion of its assignment.
“The President has been informed of the involvement of other government officials in the two issues being investigated. More officials have been linked to these cases, and Mr President has given the panel the mandate to suspend more people.”
Another source hinted that President also instructed the Committee to do a thorough job.
He said though Buhari had confidence in the Panel’s members, he wanted them “to leave no stone unturned.”
The suspended SGF and the NIA Director-General on Wednesday, appeared before the Investigation Panel, hours after the Presidency announced their suspension.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said in a statement, that the Panel “will conduct its work with utmost diligence, and without fear or favour.”
According to him, the Panel in the discharge of its work, is expected to invite all relevant officials and private individuals, who may be connected to both cases.
Osinbajo’s Spokesman, said the Panel would also obtain and scrutinize documents that “may throw some light on the issues raised in both cases.”
Akande further stated that, all proceedings of the Panel, “will however be in closed sessions, to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure, and enhance the pace of proceedings.”