Who will replace the National Intelligence Agency boss, Mr. Ayo Oke, following his sack Monday? This was the question on many lips in Abuja following the replacement of sacked of Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, with another All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Boss Mustapha, another Adamawa State indigene.
There were speculations that the strategic nature of the office of the NIA boss. may have informed the silence of the presidency, amidst whispers that a search was on for a qualified officer from the South-West zone to fill the vacancy.
Others say that there were jostlings to fill the vacancy from one of the three northern geo-political zones, a move likely to be frowned at by the South-West.
Recall that Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, announced in a statement the sack of Oke and Lawal.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari has studied the report of the panel headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, which investigated allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal, and the Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke.
“The President accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of Mr Lawal, and has appointed Mr Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The appointment takes immediate effect.
“President Buhari also approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke, and has further approved the setting up of a three-member panel to, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the Agency and make appropriate recommendations.”
There were grumbles that the government should investigate allegations that Lawal was paid for the months he was on suspension.
It was not clear if he would be tried as allegedly recommended by the Prof. Yemi Osinbajo-led Committee that investigated both men.
The Senate had produced the report that led to Lawal’s suspension, accusing him of alleged fraud in a grass-cutting contract in the North-East.
Initially, the presidency backed him, but as public outcry grew louder, he was suspended to pave way for investigations.