By Omotilewa Quadri
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A source said Lawal arrived at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja around 11am on Wednesday, after which he was interrogated and detained.
The source said the former top official in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would spend the night in the office of the anti-graft agency and his interview with the officials would continue around 11am on Thursday.
The development comes 24 hours after ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo accused Buhari of shielding his corrupt allies.
Lawal’s travails began on December 14, 2016, when a Senate ad-hoc committee on ‘Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East’ indicted him of fraud in a contract awarded for the clearing of “invasive plant species” in Yobe state, through the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).
PINE, which was under Lawal, was at the time unable to account for N2.5 billion allocated to it for support to Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Lawal’s crime, according to the ad-hoc committee, included his alleged spending of N570 million to cut grass.
Rholavision Engineering Ltd, a company owned by him, was also said to have got suspicious payments of N200 million from the contract.
Although the former SGF had claimed that he resigned from his company on August 15, 2015, and as a result was not a party to whatever business it contracted, records at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) revealed that he was a director of Rholavision until September 16, 2016, when he wrote to the commission informing it of his intention to relinquish 1,500,000 ordinary shares.
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