By LOVETH AZODO
President Muhammad Buhari has sacked the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and subsequently replaced him with Boss Gida Mustapha, a lawyer, management consultant, politician and businessman who has spent several years in Nigeria’s public service.
Lawal was indicted of alleged fraud by the Senate Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in Northeast, who called for his removal.
He was found culpable for his alleged role in a grass-cutting N200 million contract to clear “invasive plant species” in Yobe State.
Oke on the other hand, said the NIA owned huge cash hidden in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
President Muhammadu Buhari suspended both men on April 19.
Buhari then set up a three-man committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate alleged infractions against both officials within a period of two weeks.
In a tweet, Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu said, ” President Muhammadu Buhari has studied the report of the panel headed by VP, Prof Osinbajo, SAN, which investigated allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal, & the DG, 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.”
Born in Adamawa State, Mr. Mustapha attended Hong Secondary School, in Hong Adamawa State and North East College of Arts and Sciences, Maiduguri, Borno State, before sitting for the WASC and HSC in 1976. He earned his Bachelor of Law, LL.B from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1979 and was called to bar in 1980.
Mr. Mustapha did his mandatory service year at the Directorate of Legal Services, Army Headquarters where he was in charge of review of Court Marshall Proceedings.
After service, he joined Sotesa Nigeria Limited, an Italian consultancy firm, as an Executive Director in charge of Administration, and in 1983, he left to join a law firm, Messrs Onagoruwa & Co in Lagos.
With his law practice fully taken off, he was appointed Principal Counsel in the firm, Messrs Mustapha & Associates. One of Mr. Mustapha’s career highlights was his appointment as a member of Interim Management Committee IMC of the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF), where he served from 2000 to 2007.
Mr. Mustapha also played leadership roles at the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA serving as Social Secretary and Chairman at the Yola branch.
After his stint at the PTF in 2007, Mr. Mustapha was appointed Principal Partner of the law firm, Adroit Lex.
At various times, he was member Federal Republic of Nigeria Constituent Assembly (1988-1989); Chairman, People’s Solidarity Party – Gongola State (1989-1990) and state chairman, Social Democratic Party-Gongola State (1990-1991).
He was a gubernatorial candidate for SDP in Adamawa state in 1991. He was the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, from 2010 to 2013. In 2007, he served as the Deputy Director General of the party’s Presidential Campaign Organization. He was a member of NCC and Secretary, APC Presidential Campaign Organization Mobilization (2015) and member, APC Transition Committee (2015). He is also a member, APC Board of Trustees.
He is a member of various professional bodies including African Bar Association, ABA; Commonwealth Lawyers Association; International Bar Association, IBA; and Human Rights Institute (HRI) to mention a few.