· Charly Boy’s group plans protest against corruption in Buhari’s Govt
The Presidency has declared that all stories about a supposed missing $25 billion or fraudulent contracts of such sum at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are all fiction.
It added that claims on both the social and traditional media about the bogus oil contracts or missing funds were far from the truth.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said that no contracts were procured by the NNPC based on the leaked memo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, although such impressions had been maliciously created in the past few weeks.
While responding to media inquiries on Sunday night on the matter, Akande disclosed that a closer look at each of the said projects indicate clearly that the projects being bandied about were not procurement contracts.
Akande’s defence came as a coalition, OURMUMU DONDO, acting under #BuhariActOrQuit, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption among his top officials or resign.
The coalition, led by ace musician, Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, said that from tomorrow, it will begin a sit-in to force Buhari to tackle corruption in his administration.
But Akande said that “when I tweeted on Thursday morning last week, I had indicated that the Vice President, while acting as President, approved the Joint Venture Financing arrangements.
“But for some curious reasons, a few media reports used that tweet to report that I said the then Acting President approved N640 billion worth of oil contracts. Such reporting is both false and misleading and therefore ought to be completely ignored by all seekers of truth.
“What is more important,” Akande submitted, is that “when you look diligently at the referenced projects/transactions one by one, you will see, as NNPC has shown, that none of them was actually a procurement contract.
“Take both the Crude Term Contract and the Direct Sale, Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreements for instance, these are not procurement contracts involving the expenditure of public funds. Both transactions are simply a shortlisting process, in which prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum are selected under agreed terms, and in accordance with due process.
“It is therefore wrong and misleading to refer to them as though they’re contracts involving the expenditure of NNPC funds, or public funds of any sort. As you now know, the Minister of Petroleum Resources himself has in fact clarified that he meant to focus on administrative and governance issues, not red-flag any fraud – because no fraud exists in this matter”.
For both transactions, Akande said that it was not true and also inaccurate to attach $10 billion and $5 billion values on them, adding that “attaching monetary values to these contracts is an arbitrary act that completely distorts understanding of the situation.”
According to him, Nigerians ought to be informed clearly that “whenever there is a monetary value on any consignment of crude oil lifted in this country by any firm, the proceeds go directly to the Federation Account and not to any company. In fact, the Buhari administration in the implementation of the TSA has closed down multiple NNPC accounts in order to promote transparency and probity.”
Akande also explained that even in compiling the shortlisting for the prospective off-takers of crude oil and suppliers of petroleum under agreed terms, “there were public placements of advert in the mass media seeking Expressions of Interest (EoI). Bids were publicly opened in the presence of NEITI, DPR, BPP, civil society groups and the press. In some cases even, these events were televised live.”
He also disclosed that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Contract “is a contractor-financed deal which has not yet been finalised or awarded; it is still making its way to the Federal Executive Council, FEC.”
in the $3 billion to $4 billion range as reported in the media.
Charly Boy’s group plans protest
But the Charly Boy group stated that over the last 29 months, several allegations of corruption, mismanagement of public funds and outright looting of the national treasury had been levelled against top officials of the Buhari administration.
The group’s position was contained in a statement jointly signed by Charles Oputa for OurMumuDonDo Movement; Mr. Deji Adeyanju on behalf of Concerned Nigerians; Ariyo Dare Atoye for the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy; Mr. Bako Abdul Usman for Campaign for Democracy; Mr. Ariyo Atoye for the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, and Moses Paul for MAD Connect.
They noted that recently, a letter written by Kachikwu to Buhari showed that the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, entered into contracts worth $26 billion without following due process and in contravention of the provisions of the NNPC Act, Public Procurement Act and other regulations governing the process for committing the Federal Government on contracts.
They said that prior to the monumental allegations of corruption in Kachikwu’s letter, other allegations of corruption and outright looting of the treasury were made against other top officials of the Buhari administration.
According to them, these include the $43 million found in the Osborne Apartments allegedly stolen and hidden by the suspended Director of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke.
The groups also cited the mismanagement and theft of N270 million meant for the welfare of people displaced by the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country by the suspended Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal.
Others are bribery of N120 billion against the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Navy, Senator Isah Missau and alleged corruption by the Ekiti State House of Assembly against the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to the tune of N40 billion.
Charly Oputa said: “In the light of these disturbing developments and the insouciance of the Federal Government in fighting them, we shall commence a daily sit-out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, from Tuesday, October 17, 2017 to highlight these allegations of corruption against these and other top officials of the Buhari administration and strongly demand that President Buhari takes action against them in line with his anti-corruption campaign. The sit-out will commence from 09:00am and will hold daily until the President moves decisively to tackle these issues.”