Following the sack of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the declaration by the Presidency that the administrative work has been done and the task of prosecuting the former SGF is left to investigating agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has picked up the cue.
According to reports, the EFCC is set to investigate allegations of contract fraud, violation of Public Procurement Act, abuse of office and mismanagement of funds against Lawal. And to do this effectively, Lawal, who supervised the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), will be required to provide answers to several questions which include:
- Why did PINE pay 95%-100% contract sums for projects yet to be executed?
- How much was PINE’s contributions to two conferences on rebuilding the Northeast?
- What informed the award of and purported payment of a N223 million consultancy contract for the removal of invasive plant species in Komadugu, Yobe Water Channels to the Lawal’s own company?
- Why was Section 43(iii) and (iv) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 ignored by PINE? The section prescribes that procurements done under emergency should be “handled with expedition but along principles of accountability” and afterwards the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) should verify same and issue a Certificate of No Objection if appropriate.
- Could it be true that all the contracts awarded by PINE had no direct bearing to the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons?
- Who recommended the engagement of Rholavision Engineering Limited belonging to the then serving government official, Babachir Lawal?
- Is it true that Rholavision was incorporated in 1990 to carry out ICT services instead of agro services for which it was contracted?
- Was Lawal a signatory to Rholavision’s account as at the time of the award of the consultancy contract? That would have been illegal as a public servant is not supposed to run a private business.
- Was he a director of the same firm till September 2016 while in office as SGF?