11 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the alleged $26bn oil contract scam in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Executive Director of SERAP, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni, said the EFCC and the ICPC would be able to determine if such contracts existed or if the contracts followed due process.
Mumuni said, “I don’t want to take sides with anybody but the oil sector needs to be put straight and due process must be followed in the award of contracts.
“The investigators such as the EFCC and the ICPC must come into this matter. They must investigate transparently and release the report of that probe.
“This is necessary so that Nigerians can know what has transpired. Was due process followed? Was the process of awarding the contracts free of corruption? It is only when this has been determined that this government can prove that its anti-graft war is real.
“The NNPC has been in existence since 1977 under Olusegun Obasanjo as military head of state and Muhammadu Buhari was the first minister of petroleum and there was provision for a governing board. So, investigators will be the ones to tell us if there was corruption or not.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, have been at loggerheads over the process of awarding the contracts.
Kachikwu had written a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari, where he accused NNPC boss, Maikanti Baru of awarding $26bn oil contracts without following due process.
Kachikwu also accused the NNPC boss of insubordination and sidelining him from important decisions.
Following the leakage of the memo, President Buhari had reportedly held a meeting with the Minister of State at the Presidential Villa.
Baru, however, responded to the allegations, insisting that no law mandates him to discuss contracts with Kachikwu.
Both men yesterday put up a display for the cameras when they hugged and chatted lightly after they featured as panellists at the Energy Policy Committee breakout session event organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), in Abuja.