President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to investigate properly the award of $25 contracts said to have awarded at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by its Group Managing Director (GMD), Alhaji Baru without the approval of the corporation’s Board of Directors headed by Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachukwu.
Former chairman, Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Captain Tunji Selle (retd), made the call while speaking with ming Online, just as he also called on the National Assembly to investigate the scam and come out with a report and go ahead to do the needful.
Selle, who said he never expected a Group Managing Director to award a contract as huge as that not to even talk of a minister doing same as both had no such powers, described the award as absurd, unbelievable and criminal if it was truly such given out for execution by Baru.
“I am not saying the allegation is true, if it is true that such a contract of that magnitude was awarded, it is absurd, it is unbelievable, it is criminal. One would expect that Mr President should investigate the award of the contract properly, the National Assembly should investigate it and come up with a report and do the needful. If he (Baru) is found culpable, he should be handed over to the EFCC. That is all.
“I don’t expect a good managing director to award a contract worth that kind of money. It is too huge for his capacity as a Group Managing Director, even the Minister himself has no such powers. It has to go through the Executive Council for approval and every member of that body ought to have known about it,” he said.
The PDP even contended that such huge contract needed a clearance from the National Assembly, saying the questions Nigerians would like to get answers to was whether or not the award was budgeted for, did it go to the TSA Fund and how come a contract of that magnitude was being awarded by an individual.
“Even it would have needed a clearance from the National Assembly, was it budgeted for? Did it go to the TSA Fund? So how come a contract of that magnitude is being awarded by an individual?” he queried.
Speaking further, Selle said he had never been convinced that the present administration under President Buhari was fighting corruption, alleging that the regime had been biased in his approach to prosecuting its anti-corruption war.
According to him, the regime has treated some allegations with the necessary action it deserved and in some other cases did otherwise, citing in particular the grass cutting contract scam involving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, which report was already awaiting action from the Presidency a long time now.
“I have never been convinced all along that the present administration is fighting corruption, it is like you treat some allegations with the necessary action it deserved and in some other cases, you cover them up. The issue of grass cutting which was investigated, a report was submitted to Mr. President, up till now, we have not heard anything about it. Some other cases like that are being covered up. Rather it is just one section of the society that is being prosecuted from time to time.
“There are a lot of allegations that are perpetrated by so many people that are being covered up, so it does not appear to me that the present administration is fighting corruption and that would take us no where at the and of the day,” he said.