By Gistmaster: Nigerians are calling for the sack of Minister of state, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and the MD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru. President Buhari would need more effort to convince Nigerians that his government is not about to start another Diezani looting culture in the Nigerian oil sector following allegations of looting and witch hunting in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The minister of state, Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu had written a petition against the MD of NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru;calling the attention of the presidency to the what he called insubordination and award of contracts without due process. At the present exchange rate of Naira to a Dollar, Kachikwu alleged that Baru had awarded contracts 9 Trillion Naira without due process.
John Oravia, a Nigerian based in US described it as mother of all corruption. “Both Kachikwu and Baru should be sacked as minister of state (Petroleum) and NNPC MD respectively.How can Kachikwu wait fr a whole year before reporting the matter to the Presidency? One thing is clear here, he id not know the full weight of his responsibility as minister. Baru that was giving contracts without due process should go now.We all know how many corruption cases worth billions of Dollars that is hanging round the neck of former minister, Mrs Diezani Madueke. “
In his own reaction, Senator Lee Maeba from Rivers state said Kachikwu acted wrongly. He should have queried Baru before reporting him. “What he did is extreme behavior.”, Maeba said.
When CBN governor, Emir Sanusi raised an alarm on a missing $20b within NNPC, Jonathan’s government was called corrupt.Now, Ibe Kachikwu being a minister directly overseeing the NNPC leaked memo on $25b contracts awarded without due process and approval of NNPC board, this must be properly investigated, said a political observer.
In a statement by CSJ lead Director, Eze Onyekpere, the group said the allegations against Baru were weighty and should not be treated with kids’ gloves.
According to Onyekpere, “These allegations are weighty and if they are true, constitute serious crimes and acts of economic sabotage against the Nigerian people and the economy.
“It would not be difficult to establish if NNPC has held board meetings since Dr Maikanti Baru’s tenure and if meetings have been so held, the agenda of such meetings, finding out the person(s) who took decisions on appointments that were contrary to laid down procedures would also not be difficult to establish.
“Coming at a time the administration is prosecuting a war against corruption and seeking to enforce due process in the management of national resources, it is imperative that these allegations are thoroughly investigated.
“If a prima facie case is established, the offender(s) should be prosecuted and the full weight of the law brought to bear on them.
“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should rise to the occasion, in the national interest and ensure that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission moves expeditiously to investigate these weighty allegations; consider suspending the alleged official(s) from office to avoid tampering with evidence and sabotaging investigations.
“In the past, many Nigerians have alleged that the federal administration remains silent when serious allegations are made against its key officials.
“CSJ recalls the grass cutting scandal involving the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the benumbing silence following the submission of the report of the Committee headed by the Vice President to President Muhammadu Buhari.