By Henry Umoru
Six of the nine members of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East signed the report of the committee that indicted Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, investigations have revealed.
The report contradicts President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that only three senators signed the report, a claim he used in justifying his refusal to act on the Senate indictment of Mr. Lawal.
President Buhari had in a letter to Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki read on the Senate floor alleged that he could not act on the committee’s report, saying it was not endorsed by a quorum and also claimed that Lawal was not given the opportunity of fair hearing.
The three senators he named as signatories to the committee report were Senators Solomon Adeola, Yahaya Abdullahi, and Isaac M. Alfa.
Senator Shehu Sani, chairman of the committee, had immediately after the letter was read on the floor debunked the claim, saying that the letter which also alleged that Lawal was not given fair hearing was full of lies.
A copy of the committee report obtained by Vanguard yesterday showed that four other senators including the committee chairman, Senator Sani signed the report. The others who endorsed the report were Senators Ben Murray-Bruce, Tayo Alasoadura, and Mallam Ali Wakili.
Only three of the 10 members of the committee did not sign the report. They are Senators T.A. Orji, Oluremi Tinubu, and Mohammed Hassan.
Asked if he signed the report or if his signature was forged on the report, Senator Murray-Bruce told Vanguard yesterday that he signed. “I signed,” the Bayelsa senator said in a text message to Vanguard.
Also responding, Senator Tayo Alaosadura, said, “I signed. The seven signatures are all genuine.”
Buhari in his letter had said:
“The review of the interim report shows that the interim report was only signed by only three out of the nine members namely Senator Solomon Adeola, senator Yahaya Abdullahi, and Senator Isaac M. Alfa
“The signing of the interim report by three out of 9 members of the committee makes it a minority report of the Senate committee and not a committee report being an interim report. Thus, presenting a challenge for the presidency to determine the weight to attach to the report as currently presented.
Senator Sani while responding had said:
“I have a copy of the interim report which was initially signed by seven members of the nine members of that committee. Even if it is nine and then three people signed, we still have a quorum.”