By Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
Following the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) to invite Babachir Lawal sacked Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has warned the anti-graft agency that there should be no sacred cow.
Afenifere stated categorically that the former SGF must should not be spared in the investigation.
Afenifere in a statement on Thursday by Yinka Odumakin, its spokesman, cautioned the EFCC against sparing Lawal, noting that its failure to invite him was contrary to the directive by the President that the ex-SGF and Oke should both be investigated by the EFCC.
It noted that the commission only extended an invitation to Ayodele Oke, former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, and his wife over the cash found in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The two men were sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday following their indictment for corruption by a panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Odumakin said the anti-graft agency seemed to have exercised its discretion by inviting Oke and sparing Lawal who he alleged was initially protected by the Presidency and defended after he was indicted by the Senate for fraud.
“We are however surprised that the EFCC has not extended similar invitation to Mr Babachir Lawal, the former SGF sacked alongside Oke,” Afenifere said.
It observed that following public outcry that the Presidency should hand the former officials to the EFCC for prosecution after their sacking, “spokesmen of the administration have been speaking in forked tongues about Presidency not teleguiding the anti-graft war and that the agency would exercise its discretion.”
Odumakin insisted that Oke should be investigated and prosecuted if he was indicted for wrong-doing by the Osinbajo panel, adding that the EFCC cannot, however, spare Lawal while probing the sacked NIA boss.
“Inviting one and leaving the other has brought to the fore again the charge of selectivity with picking and choosing those to prosecute over corruption in the land which led a serving Senator to observe that insecticide comes handy when allegations of corruption are raised against some people and deodorant deployed when it is the turn of others,”
“We insist that for the perception not to become stronger that the anti-graft war develops strong teeth against the vulnerable and become toothless against the sacred cows, the EFCC must invite Lawal as it goes after Oke,” Afenifere stressed.