Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN) is alarmed by the
gravity of allegations by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum,
Mr. Ibe Kachukwu, against the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr.
Maikanti Baru, as contained in the Minister’s leaked letter to
President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Hon. Minister’s letter to the President, contained (among other
things) allegations of illegal award of contracts in excess $25
billion (equivalent of N9 trillion), a sum far higher than Nigeria’s
budget for 2017.
Following the outrage this leaked memo has generated in our country
today, it is important to note that this incident and the resultant
allegations are something that can be swept under the carpet or
treated as internal affairs. CATBAN and other civil society
organizations would be following up religiously to ensure we get to
the root of the matter.
While we greatly appreciate those who leaked this memo to bring to the
knowledge of Nigerians the allegations of abuse of office & corrupt
practices ongoing in NNPC as pointed out by the Minister, CATBAN would
also want the Hon. Minister to explain to Nigerians, why he had to
wait until contracts worth a whopping N9 trillion where illegally
awarded before speaking up on the matter.
Additionally, we understand that the Presidency is yet to issue an
official statement on this new scandal, but we are glad to inform them
that the whole country and indeed the rest of the world are now
watching the Nigerian government keenly on how this issue involving
allegations of corruption in President Muhammadu Buhari’s
administration raised by one of his own Minister would be handled.
Nigerians are waiting to see whether the president will sweep this
matter under the carpet like previous administration, descend on the
whistle blower like its predecessor, or properly investigate the
matter and hand over the culprit to anti-graft agency for prosecution.
This will test the seriouseness of the anti-corruption battle of the
While it is true that there exist another report dating back to March
2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the
President through the office of the Vice President, Prof Yemi
Osinbajo, containing alleged infraction committed by the Minister
through award of contract to his brothers Emmanuel Kachikwu and Dumebi
Kachikwu, we believe that matter should be handled separately from
this new development. This is because, it is our view that the March
2016 investigation by EFCC against the Minister MUST NOT and cannot be
dragged into these fresh allegations against Mr. Maikanti Baru,
because as at March 2016 when EFCC submitted its investigation to the
Office of the Vice President, Mr Maikanti Baru was yet to be appointed
CATBAN maintains that, if the Hon. Minister was not sanctioned based
on the investigation conducted more than 18 months later, such
investigation cannot be used to discredit the minister’s allegation
against the GMD of NNPC.
We are therefore calling on the President to do the needful, by
properly investigating the allegations against Mr Baru and handing
over all culprits loosely related to this scandal to the anti graft
agencies for proper investigation and prosecution.
Ibrahim Garba Wala