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Senate postpones $25bn NNPC contract probe

Th e Senate yesterday temporarily halted its planned probe of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr Maikanti Baru, over alleged award of $25 billion contract without due process.
Th e Senate had resolved to investigate Baru over alleged insubordination and abuse of offi ce as contained in the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr.
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, following leaked letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who announced the postponement, said that the investigation will now commence next Tuesday.
Ekweremad, who presided over the plenary, did not give any reason for the sudden postponement of the exercise that is to be chaired by Senator Aliyu Wamakko, whose committee was given four weeks to submit its report.
However, it might not be unconnected to the court case seeking to stop the Senate from conducting the investigation might have been the reason for the shift.
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki constituted the adhoc panel last week following a resolution of the Senate and public outcry over the award of the alleged shady contract.
Kachikwu’s letter, addressed to President Buhari was leaked to the press last two weeks.
In the memo, Kachikwu alleged lack of due process in the award of contract valued at over $25 billion by NNPC.
In the August 30, 2017 letter, Kachikwu attributed the slow growth in the oil and gas sector to illegal practices by the departments and agencies under his ministry, especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headed by the GMD of Baru.
He told President Buhari that the country’s petroleum industry would have recorded tremendous progress, but for Baru’s alleged inaction.
Kachikwu, who also presented five prayers to the President to save the oil sector from collapse, said he was always being blocked from seeing the President.
He had claimed that $25 billion contracts were awarded by Baru without his input and that of the board.
But the Presidency has since denied the existence of such contract.

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