PDP Demands Baru’s Suspension, Alleges ‘Brazen Theft’ Under Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party has called on Buhari to suspend the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria Nationa Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru immediately for the alleged $25bn contract award in the corporation, which the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu alleged did not have the input of the NNPC board.

It also demanded that Baru be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigation and prosecution.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, stated this at a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday.

Adeyeye said the PDP was shocked with what it described as revelations by Kachikwu concerning happenings in his office and the NNPC.

He said it was absurd that Buhari had refused to speak on the issue since the minister raised the matter in a memo to him (Buhari) on August 30.

He stated, “The PDP wishes to express its shock at the loud silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the humongous corruption scandal and other illegalities currently being exposed at the nation’s cash cow, the NNPC, in which two of his henchmen, Ibe Kachikwu and Maikanti Baru are the dramatis personae.

“As a political party, we expect that the President, who prides himself as an indefatigable corruption fighter, would, for once, try to live above board, by genuinely allowing one of his own, accused of corruption, get properly investigated and prosecuted as a show of his impartiality in the war against corruption.

“He should do this to correct the open impression Nigerians have about his so-called anti-corruption war; that it’s just a tool of persecution of perceived enemies.

“We view the allegations levelled against Baru by Kachikwu as too grave to be swept under the carpet and we insist that the NNPC GMD must be treated like an accused person who should not have the opportunity to influence investigation into his alleged misdeeds.

“In this light, we demand an immediate suspension of the NNPC GMD so that proper investigation can be carried out by the relevant anti-corruption agencies.”

Ordinarily, he said if there was sincerity in the anti-corruption war, Buhari should not have waited for any prompting before taking a decisive action on this matter.

He said the PDP suspected that Buhari might be trying to shield Baru as he allegedly did for the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

The former ruling party added, “The sum involved in the NNPC scandal is $25bn. Less than 10 per cent of that ($2.1bn) is involved in the so-called arms fund allegedly converted by the former National Security Adviser, for which hundreds of Nigerians have been arrested and hounded. Nigerians can now see the hypocrisy in the so-called anti-corruption fight.

“We may as well say that the privileged class of All Progressives Congress members enjoys total immunity from the anti-corruption campaign.

“Tired of this double-faced corruption fight and cover-ups we demand an immediate commencement of investigation into this latest exposed sleaze by another of President Buhari’s men.”

He wondered what Nigerians would be fed with when the APC was voted out of power in 2019.

The Punch

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