TheCable: Buhari Asks EFCC To Go After Lawal, Oke

President Muhammadu Buhari says he expects the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offence Commission (ICPC) to “proceed with investigation” involving the two top government officials he sacked some hours ago.

Buhari had ordered the dismissal of Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and Ayo Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), who were accused of corruption.

In a statement late Monday, Buhari said he would not shield anyone found guilty or frustrating the anti-corruption war.

Buhari spoke through Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant on media and publicity.

“Those who ask the question of what next? The president has taken the administrative action; all other actions will be taken by relevant government agencies,” the statement read.

“When and where they (the agencies) have reasonable grounds to charge former or serving officers to court under our laws, they do not require the permission of the president to do so.

“The position of the president, therefore, is that investigation agencies that have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance.”

Shehu said President Buhari is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution and will not stop the investigation of anyone because “he has no such power under our laws. This is a decision of the Supreme Court”.

“The President, under our laws can, through the attorney-general, enter a ‘nolle prosequi’ to stop an ongoing trial. He may upon conviction, order a pardon. Beyond these, the president cannot order investigation agencies to not investigate anyone and does not intend to do this, or any other circumstance.

“Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the president expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations.”

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