Suspended SGF Shuns Senate Panel

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The Suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, failed to appear before the Senate panel probing the alleged mismanagement of funds meant for the care of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East, on Thursday.

The upper chamber convened the hearing to probe the alleged misappropriation of funds allocated to IDPs in the North East.

The Senator Shehu Sani led ad-hoc committee submitted its interim report on the matter in December last year.

The report heavily indicted Lawal for allegedly contravening the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and the Federal Government Financial Rules and Regulations on the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on North-East (PINE).

Lawal, who has been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari  following his indictment by the  Senate ad-hoc committee, is also being investigated by a presidential panel over his role in the award of contracts by PINE.

When the Senate committee submitted its report, Lawal claimed that he was not given a fair hearing.

The Nation reported that the committee invited him to shed more light on the allegation leveled against him.

Sani, who briefed journalists after about two hours of waiting for Lawal, said members of the panel waited in vain to hear from the suspended SGF.

He expressed disappointment that Lawal failed to appear before the panel despite being invited.

The Kaduna Central lawmaker said the committee would compile its report and submit same to the Senate next week.

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