IGP under Senate probe; Anambra politics: I’m working against Obiano for gov’s poor performance – Obi; Kachikwu reacts to leaked memo to Buhari about NNPC boss, Baru; Exposé: Kachikwu’s leaked memo to Buhari about NNPC boss, Baru; Senators furious over COAS Buratai’s absence at public hearing; Oil unions threaten strike over N800b debts; Baru’s $25billion contracts saga: Buhari meets Kachikwu today; NNPC scandal: Afenifere speaks on Kachikwu’s allegations against Baru; Court adjourns Diezani’s application seeking trial in Nigeria; No need to extradite Diezani now ― AGF . . .
The Senate has opening a probe into Senator Isa Hamma Misau’s allegations against the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris. The war of words between the Senator (Bauchi Central) and police chief deepened yesterday. The lawmakers constituted a special panel to investigate the police boss for alleged misappropriation of funds, illegal promotion and posting of senior officers and bribery. Misau also brought up an allegation of infidelity against the IG. The panel is also empowered to investigate claims that the IG put an officer in the family way and secretly wedded her in Kaduna. Senate President Bukola Saraki named Senate Deputy Chief Whip Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) as the chairman of the special panel. Other members are: Senators Nelson Effiong, Binta Garba, Obinna Ogba, Faseyi Duro, Abdulaziz Nyako and Suleiman Hukunyi. The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions is to investigate claims of professional misconduct made by Sen. Misau against the IGP. The committee is to submit its findings and report in two weeks.
A former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi (photo: above), has explained why he is working against the re-election of his successor and the man he installed as governor (his man friday), Chief Willie Obiano. Obi, who spoke on Wednesday during a rally organised by the women’s wing of the PDP at the secretariat in Awka, Anambra State, said he was just against Obiano’s poor performance. A media aide to governor Obiano (photo: below), Mr. Egbuna Amuta, had alleged in an interview with a private radio station in the state that Obi’s feud with Obiano was because the latter had refused to pay N7bn Obi demanded for allegedly funding the 2013 election of Obiano. Addressing the PDP women Obi said: ”In 2013, I took Obiano around Anambra State, to the markets, to every part of the state and the people kept asking me if I was sure of him as they did not know him, so they voted for him because of me. I told them, I would be the one to lead a campaign against Obiano if he did not perform well in his first term. Today, can anyone show me what the governor has done within his first term? He has nothing to show for it. I don’t have any issue with Mr. Willie Obiano as a person, but I have issues with Willie Obiano as governor.”
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has reacted to the publication of a memo he sent to President Muhammadu Buhari. His reaction is contained in a statement by Idang Alibi, Director of Press, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The statement reads, inter alia: “It is most distressing to the ministry of petroleum resources that a confidential communication to the President on the performance of one of its parastatals can be made public. “The focus of the communication was on improving efficiency and deepening transparency in the oil and gas sector for continued investor confidence. “It is noteworthy that the President has been fully supportive of the efforts of the Ministry to entrench good governance and accountability in the oil and gas sector. “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources remains focused on achieving measurable progress in the implementation of the ongoing oil sector reforms in line with the mandate of the President.” Dated 30 August and titled “Matters of Insubordination and Lack of Adherence To Due Process Perpetuated by GMD NNPC-Dr. Baru, the memo (HMS/MPR/001/Vol.1/100) opened with a complaint by Kachikwu’s complaint to the President about postings within the corporation done without his knowledge.
Find below, the three-page letter (memo) the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu wrote to the substantive Minister of Petroleum, President Muhammadu Buhari, exposing the $25billion NNPC contracts scandal against the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Baru. See and read the 3-page letter, below:
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions were on Wednesday infuriated by the refusal of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Tukur Buratai, to honour the invitation of the committee. The committee had sent invitation to Gen. Buratai to appear before a public hearing over a petition submitted by a retired Army Lt. Col. Abdulfatai Mohammed. Lt. Col. Mohammed alleged that the Army forcefully retired him in June 2016 without explanation after 22 years of service. When the public hearing started the petitioner tendered additional evidence to the committee for consideration. At the expiration of his speech, the chairman of the committee, Samuel Anyanwu, called out the name of Ge. Buratai to hear the Nigerian Army’s side of the story. However, instead of his intended respondent, an Army officer who introduced himself as Major Daniel from the Legal Services Department spoke as representative of COAS, incurred the wrath of the lawmakers who branded Gen. Buratai as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘insulting.’
Sen. Anyanwu expressed disappointment that despite his efforts and ‘due respect’ to the Chief of Army Staff, he decided to ignore the invitation.
The petroleum downstream sector may be set for another crisis, with key unions threatening to go on strike. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Senior Staff Association (PENGASAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have served notice of a nationwide indefinite strike over the Federal Government’s inability to settle debts of over N800 billion owed oil marketers. The marketers are Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs). The unions said:”Our members working with oil companies have not been paid salaries for up to nine months by marketers due to inability of the government to redeem its commitment to pay in spite of the intervention of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the directive given to the Minister of Finance to effect payment on or before the end of July 2017.”
President Muhammadu Buhari will meet the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu on Thursday. The minister had alleged that $25billion contracts were wrongly awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Baru (photo: above). Dr. Kachikwu wrote the President on the “bravado management style” employed by Dr. Baru as a result of which he has sidelined the minister and the board of the NNPC on matters they should take decisions on.The meeting between the President and the minister is expected to be on the issues raised in the August 30 memo. The President is expected to have a fact-finding session with Dr. Kachikwu on some of the claims in Dr. Kachikwu’s August 30 memo. The President and cabinet members were shocked by the issues raised by the minister. According to other reports, it was not clear yesterday if Buhari got Kachikwu’s memo.
Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has reacted to the current controversy between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru. Kachiku, had in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, accused the NNPC’s GMD of gross insubordination and humiliation among others. The Minister had also expressed disappointment at the fact that he had no express access to the president. Reacting to the Minister’s letter, the Publicity Secretary of the organization, Yinka Odumakin (photo: above) said if the claims were true, the letter had shown that the “architecture of corruption is intact” despite the ongoing fight against corrupt by the Buhari’s administration. “The allegations in Kachikwu’s letters, if they are true, confirms our position that the architecture of corruption is intact in spite of our anti-corruption crusade. This scandal reveals the whole truth,” Odumakin told Vanguard.
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos will on October 30 hear an application by former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke praying it to order the Federal Government to facilitate her return to Nigeria to face trial. Justice Rilwan Aikawa adjourned after counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Oyedepo confirmed that he has received the application. The prosecution is expected to respond to the application before then. Mrs. Alison-Madueke is asking for an opportunity to defend allegations against her in a charge filed against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Dele Belgore and a former Minister of National Planning Prof. Abubakar Suleiman. The prosecution said Alison-Madueke allegedly shared $115,010,000 (about N35 billion) to different individuals in 36 states ahead of the 2015 general elections. Belgore and Suleiman allegedly received N450 million in cash. The EFCC accused them of conspiring to directly take possession of the N450 million. They pleaded not guilty. Mrs. Alison-Madueke was not listed a defendant. She was described as being “at large”. But, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami has said there was no need now to ask for the transfer of investigation against the former Minister to Nigeria.
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, is not likely to have her wish to return to Nigeria in order to face corruption trial as the federal government has said that would not be necessary for now. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN (photo: left) disclosed this while speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday. He said it was not in the former minister’s power to determine when she would be brought to face trial in the country. Malami, who spoke in Hausa to Hausa media correspondents, noted that she was already being investigated by authorities in the United Kingdom which he said has an understanding with Nigeria. Asked whether Allison-Madueke would be extradited as she has requested, Malami said, inter alia: “. . . government is doing something especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country. . . there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries especially the United Kingdom on the recovery of stolen funds. . . steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians. If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, the government will not hesitate to do that. . .”