Abuja - Senator Shehu Sani, Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on “Mounting humanitarian crisis in the North-East”, has faulted the letter written to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari on the resolution for sack of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachair David Lawal.
Responding to the letter in which President Buhari turned down the call for Lawal’s resignation, Sani said that he was shocked that President Buhari could be misled to write such a letters and described it as “the funeral service for anti-corruption fight” in the country.
Senator Sani while defending the report of his committee said “it is shocking to me that such a letter can come from the Presidency with such misinformation and outright distortions.
“They lied by saying that the committee didn’t invite the SGF. The committee invited the SGF and the letter was acknowledged by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF
“To make sure that we buttress our point, we made a paid advert in three or four national dailies:
” This one was published on Dec. 2, 2016 and the SGF is clearly mentioned as one of those that is expected to come and appear before the National Assembly.
“If they have the intention of simply reaching a pre-determined conclusion by covering up on the issues raised by the committee that is one thing.
“Secondly, issues were raised that only three members of the committee signed that interim report, that was also a second lie coming from the Presidency.
“I have a copy of the interim report which was initially signed by seven members of the nine members of that committee and I am going to submit it to the clerk of the Senate.
“Even if it is nine and then three people signed, we still have a quorum, but here I have seven people.
“I will say also that I listened to the list of the names that were read and they omitted the chairman which is myself.
“I know I am not very big in frame but I believe my name shouldn’t have been omitted.
“This shows clearly how the SGF and his minions in the Presidency misinformed the President to sign this letter.
“Secondly I will say this clearly, this letter is a funeral service for the anti-corruption fight.
“Mr Senate President when it comes to fighting corruption in the National Assembly and the Judiciary and in the larger Nigeria sector, the President uses insecticide and when it comes to fighting corruption within the presidency, they use deodorants.
“I stand by the report of that committee and it is very clear to us: if we can allow this committee’s report to be shredded into pieces then I think it would be in order for us to open all the 138 prisons in this country for all the convicts and awaiting trial inmates to go Scot free.
“As far as I am concerned, on behalf of myself and the committee, what we did was a thorough job, we invited all the companies concerned, we invited the SGF and he sent us the Secretary of the Presidential Initiative on the North East.
“The secretary testified under oath that he is competent enough, he came with tons and tons of documents which we went through and then we came out with our report.
“It is unfortunate that we have a political atmosphere where you have a saintly and angelic presidency and a devilish and evil society.
“We must in every respect fight corruption within the kitchen as we do in the veranda; if we don’t do that then we are being hypocritical.
“This letter does not in any way reflect the spirit with which we espoused as a people fighting to cleanse and fumigate this country of corruption.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi told reporters after the plenary that the “Senate stands on its resolution on Lawal.”
Abdullahi said that President Buahri’s letter absolving the SGF did not in any way change the position of the Senate.