The Peoples Democratic Party, has called on President Muhammad Buhari to suspend the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Maikanti Batu, over an alleged $25bn fraud allegations levelled on him by the Minister of State petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
The on-going crisis which has rocked the NNPC was unveiled after Dr Ibe Kachikwu wrote a letter to the President seeking for urgent actions on matters ranging from illegal corrupt practices to insubordination.
He had in his letter lamented the shoddy treatment meted out to him by Baru in the past year, saying he was left with no other option than to pen a letter to President Buhari after several efforts on his part to see him proved abortive.
The President who is known to have prosecuted corrupt public officers and recovered billions of Naira in stolen public funds, as well as the successful establishment of his whistleblowing policy, has been criticized by many Nigerians, one of which is the PDP, who had challenged the President to intervene on the matter.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, called for the immediate commencement of investigations into the allegations saying the highly prided president should allow one of its own to be investigated.
He said, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wishes to express our shock at the loud silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the humongous corruption scandal and other illegalities currently being exposed at the nation’s cash cow, the NNPC in which two of his henchmen, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru are the dramatis personae.
“As a political party, we expect that the President, who prides himself as an indefatigable corruption fighter, would for once try to live above board, by genuinely allowing one of his own, accused of corruption, get properly investigated and prosecuted as a show of his impartiality in the war against corruption.
“He should do this to correct the open impression Nigerians have about his so-called anti-corruption war; that it’s just a tool of persecution of perceived enemies,” the statement read in part. The party warned against any official cover-up, adding that Baru’s alleged misdeeds must be search lighted to prove his innocence or otherwise.