- As 3 foreign climbers dead, 1 missing near top of Mount Everest
The Presidency on Sunday said the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, remained suspended from their offices.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on April 19, suspended the two government officials and constituted a three-man committee led by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate them.
The panel investigated allegations of violations of law and due process made against Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East while it probed Oke on the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, for which NIA is laying claim.
The committee which has the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as members was billed to submit its report to Buhari on May 8 but could not do so because the President left the country on March 7 for medical follow-up in London.
The situation led to anxiety among Nigerians who have been wondering if Osinbajo will implement the report of the panel which he chaired.
But Akande urged Nigerians to be patient, saying the outcome of the panel would be made public at the appropriate time.
He also assured them that the outcome will satisfy Nigerians.
“Regarding media inquiries on the progress of the report of the presidential investigative panel, Akande urged for patience, explaining that when the time comes, the outcome of the panel would be made manifestly public and Nigerians would be satisfied. He said the two suspended officials remain suspended,” the statement read.
Akande also disclosed that as part of activities to commemorate the second anniversary of the of present administration, a report card on the Social Investment Programmes would be held on May 29 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Here at this national event, we shall be updating Nigerians on the progress so far attained, how we are addressing some challenges and how President Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes would be significantly expanded going forward,” Akande noted.
In the meantime, the body of an Indian climber was spotted on Mount Everest on Monday, the fourth fatality on the mountain during a busy and tragic weekend on the world’s highest peak.
Sherpa rescuers spotted the body of Indian climber Ravi Kumar, but it was impossible to retrieve the body, said Thupden Sherpa of Arun Treks and Expedition. It appeared that Kumar had fallen some 200 meters (650 feet) below the route, he said.
Climbers from the United States, Slovakia and Australia also died on the mountain over the weekend.
Kumar fell sick on his way down from the summit on Saturday and did not make it to the nearest camp, though his accompanying Nepalese Sherpa guide did reach camp. The guide was sick but had managed to drag himself to the camp at South Col, located at 8,000 meters (26,247 feet).
Kumar and his guide reached the 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, which is considered late, and not many climbers were around when they were returning back.
Tourism Department official Kamal Prasad Adhikari confirmed that American climber Roland Yearwood, 50, from Georgiana, Alabama, died Sunday, but it was not clear if and when his body would be brought down.
A Slovak climber, Vladimir Strba, 50, also died on Everest on Sunday, Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha said. His body was brought the South Col camp.
Australian climber Francesco Enrico Marchetti, 54, from Queensland, died on the Chinese side of Everest, according to the Himalayan Times newspaper. Other details were not available.
The number of climbers who have died on Everest during the current spring climbing season, which began in March and runs through the end of this month, has now reached six. A typical spring season sees around six deaths on Everest, according to mountaineering officials.
Because of bad weather conditions, climbing to the summit had been delayed this year, leading to a rush in the last few days to get to the summit.
The Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the mountain. The increased number of climbers this year is likely because many people were unable to climb in 2014 and 2015, when deadly avalanches disrupted the climbing seasons.
Climbers who had permits for the 2014 season were allowed to receive a free replacement permit until 2019, while climbers with 2015 permits were given only until this year. The permits normally cost $11,000.
Citizen with additional report from Abc