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Friday , 15 December 2017

$25Billion : President Buhari to meet Ibe Kachukwu as NNPC probe brews

 

 

The President will today meet Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, The Nation learnt last night.

The minister has alleged that $25billion contracts have been wrongly awarded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director Dr. Maikanti Baru.

Kachikwu wrote President Muhammadu Buhari on the “bravado management style” employed by Baru as a result of which he has sidelined the minister and the board of the NNPC on matters they should take decisions on.

Baru remained silent on the allegations yesterday.

The Senate also yesterday expressed shock at the allegations. After a debate on a motion on the matter, a panel of senators headed by Senator Aliyu Wammako, was raised to investigate the matter.

The meeting between the President and the minister is expected to be on the issues raised in the August 30 memo.

There were indications last night that the Presidency might probe the allegations against the GMD.

Besides, it was not clear yesterday if Buhari got Kachikwu’s memo.

A source, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, said: “The President will have a fact-finding session with Kachikwu on some of the claims in his August 30 memo. The President and cabinet members were shocked by the issues raised by the minister.

“This audience is already in the schedule of the President today. Kachikwu will have the opportunity to explain what went wrong in the NNPC and the insubordination of the GMD.

“For instance, the issue of lack of access to the President and sidelining him are really strange. Buhari wants to go into the details.”

The source added: “President Buhari does not condone indiscipline. There is a high probability that some of the allegations were not brought to his notice.

“The real questions are: Why did GMD Baru sideline his supervising Minister? How did Baru get approval for the contracts? Could he have misled the government with a cover-up memo? Did anybody or group take advantage of the President’s medical trip?

“The Presidency may probe these allegations against Baru”.

If the issues are true, said the source, the President may take some drastic measures.

“The Presidency will certainly not spare the rod and the President is determined to get to the root of the $25billion contracts,” the source said.

A shocked government official said: “It is evident that there are some moles in this government. They want to do everything to pull down this administration.

“After addressing the key issues, the government will also ask the appropriate agencies to probe the leakage.

“If the minister is culpable, he might be sanctioned for alleged violation of his oath of office and oath of allegiance. The days of moles in government are numbered.”

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