The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has queried the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over its failure to invite the former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, following his indictment for corruption.
It noted that the commission only extended an invitation to the former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr Ayodele Oke, 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.
Afenifere in a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, cautioned the EFCC against sparing Lawal, noting that its failure to invite the sacked official was contrary to the directive by the President that the ex-SGF and Oke should both be investigated by the EFCC.
“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 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.
The Afenifere spokesman 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,” Afenifere submitted.
The group insisted that EFCC must also invite Lawal in order to dispel the perception of selectivity in the anti-graft campaign, noting that everyone who broke the law must be treated equally no matter their status or origin.
“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.