*Says Senate’s interim report full of “unfortunate lies”
An interim report by the Senate ad-hoc committee which indicted the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir Lawal, over alleged abuse of the Public Procurement Acts in contract awarded by the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE) is full of “unfortunate lies”, the Co-convener of Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), Ibrahim Garba Wala, has said.
CATBAN, a civil society organisation, which presented the report of its independent investigations on the grass cutting scandal in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that the contract was carried out contrary to the Senate ad-hoc committee report.
“CATBAN can assert with authority that the contract was indeed carried out. The claims that it was meant to clear grass in IDP camp or that nothing has been done are nothing but unfortunate lies,” Wala said while presenting the report on CATBAN’s facts-finding mission to the North-East region.
Wala said the testimonies of people they met and the evidence before them proved that it was a worthwhile contract that was executed for the benefit of the people.
The report showed that the said grass cutting contract was originally tagged “Award of contract for removal of invasive plants along river channels and 115 hectares of simplified village irrigation operation in Your state.”
The findings from the report also revealed that Rheolavision Engineering, which is linked to the SGF, was not the main contractor that got the job.
“Rheolavision was engaged only as a consultant even though the Senate committee created the impression that the company of the SGF executed the contract,” the report added.
The report also revealed that the SGF actually resigned from Rheolavision Engineering and all the other companies he had shareholdings in through a letter of resignation to his lawyers, D. D Azura and co, on August 28, 2015.
Another revelation CATBAN made available showed that the SGF Engr. Babachir Lawal, actually resigned from Rheolavision Engineering and all the other companies he had shareholdings in through a notice of resignation to his lawyers on the 28th of August 2015.
“CATBAN alongside the local NGOs went to the Likori bridge in Marma channel on the Hadeija River. We found the first project sign post which consists of the contractors’ and consultants’ details.”
Although a yet to be directly confirmed report had it that President Muhammadu Buhari had replaced the SGF with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as chairman of the presidential committee of boards of parastatals, many of the people that spoke on the Senate ad-hoc committee interim report accusing the SGF Babachir David Lawal over the grass cutting scandal had straightly posited that the Senate conjured the report to use an indictment of the SGF to get at President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that at the plenary where the report was laid, Senate President Bukola Saraki had fumed wanting to know how an anti-corruption President like Muhammadu Buhari would treat the issue where according to him a senior officer in the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) under his watch had such scandal he (Saraki) claimed he had proofs to back up.