President Muhammadu Buhari is under intense pressure to ensure proper investigation and action concerning the $25 billion alleged contract deals currently rocking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The meeting between Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum, and President Buhari, has been rescheduled to hold on Friday, October 6.
The Nation reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) are asking for Maikanti Baru’s probe.
NLC president Ayuba Wabba, said: “The issue is under some investigation and I think there should be an opportunity to interrogate the process and at the end of the day, let us know the veracity and facts of the issue.
“We have made this issue quite clear and loud that part of our challenge is how we are able to imbibe the process of good governance, transparency and accountability.
“Some of the issues bother on this critical idea of ensuring that there is good governance in place. Our hope is that this issue will be thoroughly investigated and concluded at the end of the day.
“Let us hear what the issues are as well as the fact of the matter. Once we get the facts, we will then be able to make a conclusion.”
ANEEJ executive director, Rev David Ugolor, released a statement asking that Buhari should ensure the issue is investigated.
“Since the Senate has waded into the matter, we suggest that Mr President as well must invite the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, to carry out a comprehensive and forensic audit of the allegations.
“Among statutory functions of the NEITI include the regulation of matters related to due process in the award of contracts in the extractive sector of the Nigerian sector.
“We believe that the inconsistencies being thrown up by the startling revelations from the minister of state for petroleum resources include some of the issues which the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill seeks to address and redress.”
On its part, SERAP wants the case to be transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The group further want Buhari to suspend Baru, pending the referral to the EFCC and ICPC, and the outcome of any investigation by the anti-corruption agencies in order not to create the impression that his government is treating the NNPC boss as a sacred cow.
“We urge you not to allow the allegations against Mr Baru go the way of past inconclusive investigations of allegations of massive corruption within the NNPC,” it said.
NEITI’s technical adviser Dr Dauda Garuba, said: “Whichever way one looks at it, N25 billion is too huge an amount to build contracts around without due process. We are supposed to be a country guided by rules and procedures. We must make Nigeria work.
“I must say that it is unfortunate that the Nigeria public is being unenviably treated to unpleasant developments in the oil sector.
“If you ask me, this is coming at a wrong time in our history. Just when we are expecting a reform of the sector so that it can deliver the country out of the wounds, we are having to deal with this.”
It was earlier reported how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that the $25 billion contract scam at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to fund President Buhari’s second term ambition in 2019.
It was gathered that the minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in a leaked letter to President Buhari dated August 30, accused the Group Managing Director (GMD) Dr. Maikanti Baru of insubordination and corruption.