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Like Customs’ Boss, SGF Snubs Senate, Resorts To Court

Babachir David Lawal

BEVERLY HILLS, March 22, (THEWILL) – The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, will not appear before a Senate Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in Northeast on Thursday.

The Committee, investigating allegations of misappropriation of funds for rehabilitation of the region, had invited the SGF to appear on Thursday during a public hearing on the issue for his alleged role in a grass-cutting N200 million contract to clear “invasive plant species” in Yobe State.

The SGF was formally invited after his indictment by the committee at the first public hearing on the matter but President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter to the Senate, defended Lawal saying he was not given fair hearing, thus necessitating the new summons.

In the letter to him, the committee had indicated that the essence of the second public hearing was another opportunity of fair hearing for stakeholders who refused to attend the first hearing.

But on Wednesday, Lawal wrote to Shehu Sani, chairman of the committee, that he would not be available for the hearing because he had gone to court to challenge the invitation.

“I wish to kindly request that you draw the attention of other members of the committee that I will not be able to appear before the committee primarily because I have gone to court to challenge the invitation among others,” he wrote.

“Please find attached the court documents.”

THEWILL recalls that the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, also refused to honour a second invitation by the Senate, which had insisted that he appear wearing a uniform, revealing that the matter was before the court.