$25bn contract: Senate postpones probe of NNPC GMD

$25bn contract: Senate postpones probe of NNPC GMD

The Senate has postponed the planned probe of the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, over alleged award of $25 billion contract without due process.

The upper chamber also resolved to investigate Baru over alleged insubordination and abuse of office as contained in a leaked letter by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who announced the postponement at Tuesday plenary, explained that the investigation will now commence next Tuesday.

The investigative panel chaired by former Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko ought to have commenced sitting on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Ekweremadu who presided over the plenary did not give any reason for the sudden postponement.

Sources say the shift may not be unconnected with a court case seeking to stop the Senate from conducting the investigation.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki had announced the adhoc panel last week following a resolution of the Senate and public outcry over the award of the alleged shady contract.

He, however, did not give any timeframe for the panel to submit its report.

Other members of the nine-man ad-hoc committee include the Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Tayo Alasoadura; his counterpart in Petroleum Downstream and Gas, Kabir Marafa and Albert Bassey respectively.

Others include: Sam Anyanwu, Ahmed Ogembe, Chukwuka Utazi, Rose Okoh and Baba Kaka Garbai.

A source revealed that earlier meeting scheduled last week by the chairman, Wammako, was also called off at the last minute.

Wamakko is yet to address the Press about the modalities his committee would adopt to conduct the investigation.

The nine-man committee is also expected to investigate the policy introduced by Baru for allegedly allocating almost all petroleum products to Duke Oil.

In a leaked letter dated August 30th, 2017 and addressed to Buhari, Kachikwu had accused Baru of insubordination and illegal practices.

He said he was disturbed that $25 billion contracts were awarded by Baru without his input and that of the NNPC Board.

He also accused the NNPC GMD of effecting changes in personnel at the NNPC without recourse to NNPC Board or the Ministry.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja

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