Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:41 pm
Following in the footsteps of Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Lawal Babachir on Wednesday also said he would not honour Senate’s invitation on Thursday over the handling of funds for North-East rehabilitation.
Like Ali, the SGF also cited a pending legal challenge to the Senate’s invitation as his reason for shunning the lawmakers’ invitation.
Babachir told the lawmakers that he has headed to the court to challenge the propriety of the invitation and his being investigated on the issue.
News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports that an ad hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East investigating allegations of misappropriation of funds for rehabilitation of the region had invited the SGF to a public hearing on the issue.
The invitation was dated March 15 and it asked the SGF to appear on Thursday.
But, in a letter to the Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Sen. Shehu Sani, in Abuja on Wednesday, the SGF said that rather than attend the hearing, he was challenging the invitation at the court.
The letter signed by the SGF read: “your letter of invitation to appear before the above committee refers.
“I wish to kindly request that you draw the attention of the other members of the committee that I will not be able to appear before the committee primarily because I have gone to court to challenge the invitation among others.
“Please find attached the court documents.”
The SGF was formally invited after his indictment by the committee at the first public hearing on the matter, for which the presidency had said that he (SGF) was not given fair hearing.
In the letter to him, the committee had indicated that the essence of the second public hearing was another opportunity of fair hearing for stakeholders who refused to attend the first hearing.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, had on Jan. 24, 2017 read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari stating that the SGF was not given fair hearing at first hearing.