Suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation babachir Lawal/Photo: NAN
Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation babachir Lawal/Photo: NAN

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has refuted claims the detention of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal was triggered by the letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Commission had on Wednesday detained the former SGF for financial impropriety, barely 24 hours after the open letter was sent.

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Speaking to newsmen of Friday, the EFCC spokesman, Samin Amaddin, said the timing was coincidental and not related as is being bandied in some quarters.

He said the suggestion that the arrest was made to deflect public attention from the issues raised in the letter is mere speculation that has no resemblance to the truth.

He said: “When we are doing investigation, we don’t have a fixed time. Those speculating should have realised that several contractors are involved in this matter, and they were all invited, even banks.

“We have been working on this case since May 2017, so it is not a thing that just cropped up.

“We are neither a political party nor politicians. We don’t have any relationship with what they are talking about. We are just doing our work.

“If the detention coincides with the letter, that is a different thing. Why are those talking not linking other people we have been inviting with Obasanjo’s letter?’’

The former SGF was sacked by President Buhari after a Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led panel found him guilty of misappropriating funds meant for Internally Displaced Persons in the North East.