Senate postpones probe of alleged $25 billion contract by NNPC

Wed, Oct 18, 2017 | By publisher

Oil & Gas


THE Senate has postponed investigation into the planned probe of Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, over alleged award of $25 billion contract without due process, insubordination and abuse of office as contained in the letter by Ibe Kachikwu,  minister of state, Petroleum Resources, to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking on Tuesday, October 17, during plenary, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy Senate president, said the investigation would now start next Tuesday, October 24, but failed to give any reason for the sudden change. The investigative panel chaired by Aliyu Wamakko, was billed to have started its work on Tuesday, October 17, even as its earlier meeting scheduled for last week 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. But the case praying the court to stop the Senate from conducting the investigation may be the reason for the shift.

Bukola Saraki, Senate president, had last week, constituted the adhoc panel, following a resolution of the Senate and public outcry over the alleged award of the contract. The committee was given four weeks to submit its report.

It would be recalled that Kachikwu’s letter, addressed to President Buhari, was leaked to the press two weeks ago. The minister, had, in the letter, alleged that due process was not followed in the award of contract valued at more than $25 billion by the NNPC.

In the letter dated August 30, 2017, Kachikwu attributed the slow growth in the oil and gas sector to illegal practices by the departments and agencies under his ministry, especially the NNPC, headed by Baru.

But Baru in his reply said no offence was committed and that the corporation did not need the approval of the minister or board to award contracts. Besides, he said the amount quoted by the minister was a fiction and not real.

– Oct 18, 2017 @ 12:12 GMT