Senate releases details of SGF Lawal’s ‘sins’

Close- up: Babachir Lawal, the engineer who got caught up in grass-cutting scandal

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Babachir David Lawal, may have to come up with more explanations over allegations of corruption against him.

He was accused by the Senate of having used his position to inflate and corner a government contract executed in camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north east of the country.

Fresh documents released by the Senate has revealed more details in the allegations made against him, which he previously denied, tagging it as an attempt to rubbish his name.

The SGF was reported to have told reporters at the National Assembly Complex when he accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2017 budget, that the Senate was talking rubbish in their report against him and call for his sack and prosecution.

“The Senate is talking balderdash. It has developed the habit of Bring Him Down syndrome. Nigerians have decided that we should destroy our best. We should all destroy the promising and best among us by bringing people down without a cause. This is just how I saw it”, he had stated.

He had also claimed that he was not given a chance to defend himself before the committee presented its final report.

However, documents of the interim report of the Senator Shehu Sani-led Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, has countered the SGF’s claim that he resigned his directorship of the company in question, Rholavision when he became SGF in August 2015.

Documents which the Senate ad-hoc committee obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that the SGF only relinquished his shares in the company on September 16, 2016 after resigning as director of the company.

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The paper also punctured Lawal’s claim that he was not invited to appear before the Senate ad hoc committee. According to the paper, SGF’s office actually did get an invitation letter. It revealed that apart from an open invitation published in the newspapers, the Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office in the SGF’s Office Aminu Nabegwu, replied the invitation letter on December 6, 2016 and sent some documents to the committee. Additionally, Lawal was represented on the third day of the committee’s public hearings.

More revealing was how SGF Lawal, supposedly awarded fake contract of N220 million for the clearing of wild grass and the delivery of 115 hectares of simplified village irrigation in Yobe State and how the company allegedly afterward transferred the money into Rholavision Engineering Limited, which is allegedly owned by the SGF.

The paper showed that the acclaimed amount was paid between March and September to the company’s account in EcoBank located along Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna, with account numbers 0182001809 and 1180010559651.

While Lawal had in an interview sometime on TV also absolved himself of any wrong doings regarding the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) the Senate claims that it’s investigations shows that he was involved in a lot of wrong doings in the issue of PINE.

The Senate report which is not yet public, but revealed by a reliable source, detailed that on March 29, 2016, Josmon Technologies Limited paid N10,000,000.00 five times amounting N50million to Rholavision Technologies Limited, with different Reference numbers of 9998222200559927, 998222200559962; 9982222005599633; 99822225600201; 9982222600261, in that order.
Josmon Technologies Limited again on March 30, 2016, made more payment of N10million five times into Rholavision Technologies Limited totalling N50million, with reference numbers 998222005825763; 9952222005625822; 9982222995625824; 998222200565826; and 9982222562881.

Also on March 31, 2016, Josmon Technologies Limited made another transfer two times to the Rholavision Technologies Limited at N10million with reference numbers, 9982222005677584 and 998222205677592.

The report also said that the same company on April 1, 2016, made payment of N10million to Rholavision Technologies Limited five times, with Reference numbers 9982222005731505; 9952222005731547; 9952222005731593; 9982222005731594;and 9982222005732011in that order.

Another transaction was made on April 4, 2016 by Josmon Technologies Limited again, this time it paid thrice to the Rholavision Technologies Limited, first N10million twice and N5 million, a total of N25 million, with reference numbers 9982222005321833; 998222200821837 and 9982222005821847 correspondingly.

The report indicates that on August 22, N20million was paid under the name, JMT Global Technologies to Rholavision Technologies Limited, with reference number 99822220011865741and on September 8, 2016, Josmon Technologies Limited paid N10 million to the same company, with reference number 999222201339451, while on September 9, 2016, payments were made twice, with the first at N10million while the second one same day was N35 million.

Aside the above listed transaction which amounted to N220million paid by Josmon, the report claimed that another debit transaction of N53 million, was also paid to Rholavision Technologies Limited.

While the Senate has warned President Buhari that the world is watching to see how he will treat the corruption allegations against the SGF, the Presidency has promised to carry out its own investigation before taking action.

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About the author

Ebere Ndukwu

Ebere is a lover of investigative journalism, always seeking to unearth the hidden.