The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said it has no confidence in the panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke.
This, according to the party, amounts to one being a judge in his own case. Instead, PDP is calling for “an independent commission of inquiry comprising eminent Nigerians of proven records of integrity, independence and competence,” to investigate the suspended government officials.
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, announced the setting up of a committee comprising the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) to investigate the two suspended government officials.
PDP, in a statement yesterday by the spokesperson of the National Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said it does not believe that justice could be done in such situation.
“We are at a loss why the president would set up a panel comprising members of his cabinet to investigate other very powerful senior members of the same executive. Where is the transparency in that?
“Not that we doubt the integrity of the Vice President (for whom we have the utmost respect) and other panelists, but it appears the matter is being settled within the government closet without the transparency, independence and impartiality necessary in a situation like this.
“Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to have been done,” the statement observed. The party recalled that the presidency instituted similar committee headed by the AGF to investigate the SGF (on this same matter) and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
According to the PDP, the SGF was cleared of wrongdoings in the grass cutting scandal, noting that it is amazing that the president, who it said swiftly accepted the recommendations of the AGF, would now suddenly set up another panel comprising the same AGF to investigate the matter again.
“The pertinent question is whether the president has now realised that the initial investigation by the Attorney General was not thorough or a cover up to protect a fellow cabinet member. “If that is the case, then the president needs to come clean with Nigerians by formally repudiating and rejecting the report.
He must then tell Nigerians why the author of such a dastard, useless and worthless report should be included in the new panel,” the statement further added.
The PDP noted that the only way Buhari could reassure Nigerians that there are no sacred cows in his government is for him to institute an independent panel to investigate the matter. “Against this backdrop, we are constrained to express our lack of confidence in the new panel headed by the Vice President.
The present situation amounts to the government being the judge in its own cause,” PDP stated. The opposition party also described Buhari’s anti-corruption war as a ruse aimed at deceiving Nigerians.