SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, (THEWILL) – The senator representing Kaduna central, Shehu Sani, has called for the dissolution of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC, headed by Prof. Itse Sagay, describing the committee as a “a moribund and irrelevant assemblage”.
He told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday that Wednesday’s suspension of Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, David Babachir Lawal, clearly showed that the committee was not competent.
Sani recalled that the committee had in the wake of corruption allegations against Lawal over the management of the Presidential Initiative on North-East, PINE, funds, defended him as being without guilt.
Following an interim report of the Sani-led Ad hoc Committee of the Senate on Mounting Humanitarian Crises in the North-East which indicted Lawal in the diversion of North-East humanitarian funds, the Senate on December 14, 2016, called for the resignation and prosecution of the Lawal.
This was consequent upon alleged contravention of the provisions of Public Procurement Act and the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations pertaining to award of contracts by the SGF.
While presenting the report to the Senate, Sani said it was discovered that some of the contracts were awarded to companies belonging to cronies and family members of top government officials.
He said the committee found out that Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company, in which Lawal was alleged to be a director was awarded consultancy contract. The company’s major role, according to him, is the removal of invasive plant species in Yobe on March 8.
But the PACAC Chairman swiftly defended the SGF of any complicity in any of the processes, and faulted the Senate ad hoc committee for saying Buhari’s administration was “treating corruption in his government with `deodorant”.
In what is akin to having the last laugh on Thursday, Sani said Sagay did not have honour because he had earlier defended the now suspended SGF.
He stated that it has become clear that President Buhari could fight corruption effectively without an advisory body because the one currently in place is incompetent.
The lawmaker said, “President Muhammadu Buhari should as a matter of urgency dissolve his Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption. It is a moribund and irrelevant assemblage. A Presidential Advisory Committee headed by a man who defended the SGF is without honour,” Sani said.
“The chairman of the committee attacked me for my report on PINE; now that the president has taken steps in the direction of the committee’s report, I hope the Professor will muster the courage to also attack the president.
“The advisory committee was looking for corruption in Sokoto while it’s there in ‘shokoto’ It is sad that most of the mercenary forces hired to rubbish the integrity of the Senate committee and defend those indicted have suddenly lost their voices”.
Sani said the humanitarian crisis
“was made an industry where government officials and even non-governmental organisations, profit from the suffering and the hardships of millions of victims”.
He stated that while some people saw the millions of orphans and widows produced by the crisis as victims, others saw them as “cash cows”.