Nigeria's Buhari orders corruption probe over humanitarian funds

File: Buhari, who took office in May 2015 on promises to crackdown on corruption, suspended David Babachir Lawal, secretary to the Nigerian government, and ordered a probe into contracts awarded under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE). Photo: SUNDAY AGHAEZE / AFP

ABUJA - Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday ordered an investigation into corruption allegations against a senior civil servant related to the use of funds intended for handling a humanitarian crisis in the northeast of the country.

Buhari, who took office in May 2015 on promises to crackdown on corruption, suspended David Babachir Lawal, secretary to the Nigerian government, and ordered a probe into contracts awarded under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

PINE was set up to coordinate the government's response to the humanitarian crisis in the northeast, where 4.7 million people, many of them refugees from an Islamist insurgency waged by the Boko Haram militant group, need rations to survive.

A three-man committee is to submit its report to the president within 14 days, a statement issued by the president's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Lawal for comment.

In other news regarding Nigeria's crackdown on corruption' the BBC is reporting that President Buhari has suspended the boss of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ayo Oke.

Buhari reportedly ordered an investigation following last week's discovery of $43m (R470-million) in cash in a flat in an upscale estate in Lagos.

The money, which was uncovered by the anti-corruption agency following a tip-off has been claimed by the NIA, the report says.

"President Buhari has ordered investigators to find out how the NIA came in possession of the funds and to establish if they broke any law.

"A statement from the presidency says a committee, headed by the vice president will conduct the investigation and submit a report to him within 14 days," the BBC report concluded

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Reuters

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