Asked to show how, when he resigned from firm that got the job
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA— For the second time within a week, the Presidential Investigative Panel, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, last night grilled the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, David Babachir Lawal, over the controversial N220 million grass-cutting contract awarded last year.
A competent source confirmed to Vanguard that the embattled SGF appeared in the night shortly after the Vice President returned from an official engagement in Lagos to Abuja.
Lawal, who had earlier been questioned by the three-man panel, last week, was summoned last night to answer crucial questions on whether the contract was captured in the 2016 federal budget and if, indeed, the award was scrutinised and approved by the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, PINE, and whether it was advertised in accordance with extant procurement laws.
The embattled SGF, according to a source, was also asked to justify why the clearing of wild grass in Yobe State became a priority programme of the PINE, when the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, had not been adequately addressed.
Besides that, Lawal was given another chance last night to clear the air on why the company he claimed he had resigned from, Rholavision Technologies Limited, was awarded the N220 million grass-cutting job.
“He was also given the ample opportunity to defend why the cash from the contract sum was immediately transferred to his ‘former’ company, when in reality records from the Corporate Affairs Commission proved otherwise,” the source said.
It was learned that the committee was keen on establishing from the CAC whether, indeed, the suspended SGF resigned from the company on August 18, 2015, shortly after assuming office as the government scribe.
Documents obtained from the CAC are said to have punctured his claim.
According to the CAC document, the SGF only resigned from the firm on September 16, 2016, when he relinquished his shares from the firm via a letter to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.
In the letter signed by himself, Babachir Lawal said: “Having resigned my appointment as a director of Rholavision Engineering Limited, I hereby relinquish my shares totalling N1,500,000.00 Ordinary Shares back to the company.
“Based on his resignation, Rholavision Technologies Limited, met on October 5, 2016, and reappointed two directors for the company: Hamidu D. Lawal and Patience Midala Ephraim via resolutions reached at the meeting.”
The Presidential panel is likely to wind up its operations this week and submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Feelers indicate that based on the facts emerging from the panel so far, it would be difficult for the Presidency to continue to harbour Babachir Lawal and the NIA boss, Ayo Oke.
But the two officials have insisted they did no wrong.
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