Babachir Lawal breaks silence on his probe by EFCC, relationship with Buhari

Babachir Lawal, sacked secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says he’s happy with his ongoing probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In October 2017, Lawal was relieved of his position amid allegations of corruption.

A senate ad-hoc committee had in December 2016 indicted him of fraud in a contract awarded for the clearing of invasive plant species in Yobe state, through the Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE).

According to the ad-hoc committee, Lawal allegedly spent N570m on the project.

PINE, which was headed by Lawal, was at the time unable to account for N2.5 billion allocated to alleviate the plight of IDPs.

Amid speculations that the former SGF might have escaped justice, Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, recently said Lawal is still under investigation.

Speaking during a Channels TV interview, Lawal said he had “always wanted” the EFCC to get involved in the allegations against him.

Asked about the investigation, he said: “I like it (the probe). In fact, I had always wanted the EFCC to be involved because the EFCC has the capacity both in terms of equipment and personnel to get to the truth.”

Lawal said although he is being investigated for alleged corruption, it would not affect his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former SGF is believed to be a close ally of Buhari.

“If the president were to be my brother, does it mean we cease to be brothers because I am being investigated by the EFCC?” he asked. “A relationship breaks because of a false accusation against an innocent man.”