- The presidency has given a clarification on the controversy surrounding Mr Babachir Lawal
- Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) is at loggerheads with the Nigerian Senate
- Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, made the clarification
The presidency has given a clarification on the controversy surrounding the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir David Lawal.
President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the Nigerian Senate on the issue, and the president's stand irked members of the Senate and many Nigerians.
Many accuse the president of shielding his appointees from prosecution, but wastes no time in going after opposition politicians.
Speaking on a BBC HAUSA program “Ra’ayi Riga,” on Friday, January 27, Shehu decried attacks on the president which he said were unwarranted because his letter to the Senate did not dwell on whether the SGF was guilty or not guilty.
He said: “What President Buhari has done is simply to act in a response to a report by the SGF, Babachir David Lawal, who insisted that he and the companies cited were not given a fair hearing by the National Assembly.
“President Buhari’s communication to Nigeria’s lawmakers was simply this: If the SGF was not given a fair hearing, can you now give him one?”
The president's spokesman added that the report in discussion, was an interim one and a final report was, therefore, being expected.
He stated further that it would not have been advisable to act on the matter before a final report was received from the legislature.
He also said that as fervent as President Buhari is about the war on corruption, “he believes in due process and in fair hearing, without which our democracy cannot be taken seriously by Nigerians or the international community’’.
Meanwhile, former House of Representatives member, Junaid Mohammed has accused President Buhari of shamelessly protecting his appointees from prosecution.