Journalism of Courage

Ex-SGF, Ahmed, kicks against perm secs as sureties for public treasury looters

… re-evaluate the courts' custom of requesting Federal Permanent Secretaries "to save people accused of looting government treasury."

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed,  has criticised the practice of using Permanent Secretaries as sureties for people standing trial for stealing public funds.

He made the call on Wednesday in Abuja as special guest at the book launch and retirement party of Dr Habiba Muda Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

He, therefore, urged the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Service of the Federation to reevaluate the courts’ custom of requesting Federal Permanent Secretaries “to save people accused of looting government treasury.

Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has extolled Lawal, describing her as a public servant who scored many firsts while serving the nation.

The SGF, who presided over the event commemorating Lawal’s departure from public service after a distinguished and successful career, offered congratulations to the retiring top civil servant, noting that it is even more significant when the departing public officer has deemed it fit to document such stewardship as a contribution to history and a guide to those coming behind.

He said: “Let me begin by congratulating Dr. Habiba Lawal, Academic, Administrator, Educationist, Scientist, Mother, family matriarch and motivator, on attaining the age of 60 and for a resounding public service career.

She comes with a lot of firsts, in the class of achievers. At the peak of her career, she was appointed a Permanent Secretary in 2013 thus becoming one of the longest serving in that class, today.

It is also on record that she served as the Ag. Secretary to the Government of the Federation for at least six months before my appointment in 2017. By way of speaking, therefore, it will be right to call her my predecessor.”

Mustapha admitted that the retiring government official excelled in the discharge of her duties while serving as acting SGF and commended her for bringing her experience to bear on that office.

This, he added, made it easy for him to take off smoothly.

As the Permanent Secretary in the Ecological Projects Office, the SGF said Lawal discharged her duties with transparency, dedication, commitment, and the drive that distinguished her as an exemplary public officer.

“The result of her leadership of the EPO is documented in the two volumes of publications issued from that office. That is another first in the history of the EPO.”

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