President Buhari Shops for Babachir Lawal’s Replacement

Following allegations of massive fraud, President Muhammadu Buhari has begun shopping for a replacement of the secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal.

Presidential sources told this news house that Babachir’s replacement is related to his fraudulent activities.

Babachir had awarded contracts to himself, paid the money in full, but refused to deliver on the project.

Bank statements showed that the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) had awarded contracts to Babachir’s firms.

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The office of the SGF manages the budget for PINE.

Babachir had claimed he relinquished his shares in Rholavision on September 16, 2016.

However, it was discovered that he was the sole signatory of the account of the company.

His personal Bank Verification Number, (BVN), was linked to the company and he alone made withdrawals.

It was on the basis of this incriminating evidence that the Senate last week called for his resignation and probe.

Babachir dismissed the report of the Senate that indicted him, stating that the senators were “Talking balderdash”.

Impeccable sources from the presidency told this news house that the current Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, may replace Babachir.

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Ogbeh’s name has resurfaced and may come up again for the post of SGF.

Lawal had also meddled in the Ondo governorship election.

He had supported a candidate that was not the President’s choice. That discovery incensed the President.

Lawal’s meddling was with the deployment of security personnel relevant to the Ondo elections.

A certain DIG of Police, who was deployed to Ondo with clear instructions from the Inspector-General of Police.

The DIG complained to someone close to the president that he received a call from Lawal with a contrary order.

Lawal had asked the DIG to report to Chief Pius Akinyelure, APC chairman in the South-west, and brief him on developments.

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But Akinyelure is a very close ally of Senator Bola Tinubu. Both of them are APC chieftains.

However, Akinyelure was believed to have worked for AD and its candidate, Olusola Oke in the Ondo election.

When the matter was reported to the president, Buhari fumed.

He issued Babachir a stern warning that the next time he found him meddling in the Ondo election matter or any matter not assigned to him, it would be his last assignment as SGF.

A source added: “With the PINE contract, which clearly borders on corruption, there is no doubting the fact that he is a goner.

“There is no way he or the president can defend this.

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“He should even have sent in his letter of resignation and not wait until he is shown the way out.

“But whether or not he likes it, the allegations are too weighty for the president to ignore.

“What they actually wanted to do was to fund the Ondo election with N1.3 billion Ecology Funds.

“But neither Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo nor Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the state was aware.

“And when they started touting the VP’s name, he quickly wrote a formal letter and washed his hands off the deal.”

The source said practically all members of the Buhari cabinet were happy about the development.

The source added that Babachir seemed to have no friends amongst them because he wields so many powers they cannot explain.