The Senate has asked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal to resign over alleged misappropriation of funds.
The Senate took the decision after adopting the interim report of its adhoc committee, headed by Shehu Sani, which investigated the mounting humanitarian crisis in the North East caused by hunger, disease, squalor, deprivation and want amongst the lDPs.
A report presented to the Senate Wednesday accused the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal of complicity in the alleged misappropriation of funds donated to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.
Consequently, the lawmakers asked Lawal to immediately resign his office and face prosecution for alleged abuse of office and inflation of contracts.
“The committee discovered that all contracts from the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE) were awarded under the principle of emergency situation as stipulated in Section 43 (i) & (ii) but with absolute disregard to subsection (iii) & (iv) of the same Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”
“All procurements made under emergencies shall be handled with explanation but along principles of accountability, due consideration being given to the gravity of each emergency; and immediately after the cessation of the situation warranting any emergency procurement, the procuring entity shall file a detailed report thereof with the bureau which shall verify same and issue a certificate of ‘No Objection.’
Sani told the Upper Chamber that “most of the contracts awarded by PINE have no direct bearing/impact on the lives of the displaced persons apparently languishing in hunger/starvation, disease, squalor and other deplorable conditions in all the IDPs camps.”
“The PINE took undue advantage of the provision of emergency situation contract award in the Public Procurement Act, 2007 to over inflate contracts.
According to the committee, “95% to 100% payments of all contracts awarded by PINE have been paid even as some contracts are yet to be fully executed. An example is payment of N108 million for the supply of 1100 units of temporary tarpaulin carbines at N302,000.00 per unit made to Dantex Nigeria Limited despite the fact that 125 units valued at N37.7m were yet to be supplied.”
After an exhaustive debate on the report, the Senate adopted the recommendation that the SGF should resign and be prosecuted.