HURIWA wants NNPC’s GMD suspended, probed over alleged scam
A pro-transparency and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has demanded the suspension from office and the immediate investigation of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Maikanti Baru.
The group hinged its call on the emerging monumental allegations of misapplication of humongous amount of $26 billion as made by the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
A statement signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in Abuja yesterday tasked Buhari to act without undue delay on the report of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo-led probe panel on the scam involving the suspended secretary to the government of the federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, and the discovery of over ($35 billion) huge foreign denominated currencies allegedly involving the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency.
Also, the president must be urged to act decisively in the swirling allegations of fraud running in to billions and official sexual misconducts leveled against serving Inspector General of Police Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotum Idriss, by Senator Isa Hamman Misau of the All Progressives Congress representing Bauchi Central in the National Assembly.
Reminding Buhari of his constitutional oath of office in which he is obliged to do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, the rights group said Nigerians desire an administration that will consistently wage the anti-graft war in line with the rule of law and not the consistent application of double standards whereby members of the political opposition are witch- hunted, demonized and persecuted but accused persons belonging to the ruling party are spared using subterfuge and ‘government magic’ of bureaucratic delay tactics of setting up of endless committees sidestepping legally established anti-Graft institutions.
Citing section 15 (5) of the Constitution which states that ‘the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power,” HURIWA affirmed that the wide-ranging allegations of breach of transparency rules made against the NNPC boss by no other person but the minister in charge of the petroleum sector, must never be swept under the carpet.
The group also expressed consternation that the Senate has dabbled in the matter rather than forward the petition by the minister of state for petroleum to the relevant law enforcement agencies for necessary investigative actions and prosecution.
HURIWA went on: “The decision of the Senate to wade into these extensively damaging claims of corruption and abuse of office levelled against the NNPC GMD by the cabinet level minister is ill-advised as that may occasion political softlanding and eventual settlement. The EFCC/ICPC and Code of Conduct Institutions must be involved.
“It is sad that Nigeria has now reached the phase and time whereby most Nigerians believe that it was risky for an Igbo-speaking public office holder to expose perceived cases of fraud against a Northern Moslem simply because the president being a Moslem will sack the non-moslem who has made the allegations against another Moslem public office holder.
The social media is replete with opinions as stated above and this is pathetically regrettable.
“We urge president Buhari to listen to the voice of reason and not buy into the illogicality of dismissing criticisms as the seeking of government’s invitations for settlement as made by his media assistant Alhaji Garba Shehu. Mr. President should in the spirit of patriotism, immediately excuse the GMD of NNPC and to recommend his matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission.”
HURIWA warned against the emerging trend whereby the body language of the president seems to have sympathized with his aides and officials who are allegedly in conflict with the anti-graft laws.
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