The Peoples Democratic Party, yesterday called for the immediate investigation into the alleged breach of due process in the $25 billion contract award involving the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru. Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had on Tuesday in a leaked letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, accused Baru of awarding contracts totaling $24 billion without the input of the NNPC board, even as he described his conduct as an act of insubordination.
in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, called for the immediate commencement of the investigation into the allegations, saying President Buhari should, without further delay, demonstrate his anti-corruption credentials by speaking up on the alleged scam.
The statement read: “The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, wishes to express our shock at the loud silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the alleged insubordination and other illegalities currently being exposed at the nation’s cash cow, the NNPC, in which two of his henchmen, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, are the dramatis personae. “As a political party, we expect that the President, who prides himself as an indefatigable corruption fighter, would for once try to live above board, by genuinely allowing one of his own, accused of insubordination and subversion of due process, get properly investigated and prosecuted as a show of his impartiality in the war against corruption.
“He should do this to correct the open impression Nigerians have about his so-called anti-corruption war; that it’s just a tool of persecution of perceived enemies.’’ The party warned against any official cover-up, adding that Baru’s alleged misdeeds must be probed to prove his innocence or otherwise. “We view the allegations leveled against Baru by Kachikwu as too grave to be swept under the carpet and we insist that the NNPC GMD must be treated like an accused who should not have the opportunity to influence the investigation into his alleged misdeeds.
“We demand an immediate suspension of the NNPC GMD so that proper investigation can be carried out by the relevant anti-corruption agencies,” it stated. The party said it appeared President Buhari by his silence, was shielding the NNPC boss in a manner similar to the case of one of his trusted officials some few months ago.
The statement continued: “Ordinarily, if there was sincerity in the anti-corruption war, President Muhammadu Buhari should not have waited for any prompting before he takes a decisive action on this matter, but as customary with his administration, we suspect that he’s trying to shield Baru as he did for Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, who he merely suspended to allow the hullabaloo generated by the fraud perpetrated in the management of the emergency fund for the IDPs, die down.
‘’Also up till now, we have never heard anything again about the millions of dollars and billions of naira discovered at an Ikoyi apartment. “We have been saying this for months that the diversion of the nation’s resources under this administration is record-setting in the history of this nation and we are being proven right on daily basis by the little revelations that are being made by even those working under the administration. “We wonder what the stench will be when the real and hidden atrocities being perpetrated under the watch of President Buhari are finally exposed when Nigerians throw the APC government out of power in 2019.
“The sum of $24 Billion said to have been the subject of the latest controversy when converted to naira is about N9 Trillion, a sum that is bigger than the nation’s annual budget. “Much as we commend the National Assembly for indicating interest in probing the allegations against the NNPC GMD as approved in the adoption of the motion moved by Senator Samuel Anyanwu at Wednesday’s plenary, we wish to appeal to the leadership of the Senate to prevail on the Ad-hoc committee set up for the purpose of the investigation, to make their sitting open to all Nigerians so that nothing will be surreptitiously swept under the carpet.” Allegations against Baru should be investigated