Lagos – The dust raised by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu’s recently leaked letter to President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to settle down at the presidency.
According to a presidency source, the letter emerged at a time the president was contending with “strange behaviours of some of his ministers”.
An online report revealed that key government officials are leaving no stone unturned in unraveling those behind the leakage of sensitive documents to the public owing to the threat it has on national security.
Kachikwu’s letter slamming Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), leaked out and was reported by the media last week.
In the letter, Kachikwu detailed a number of official breaches, particularly insubordination and corruption, committed by Baru.
A presidency source revealed that Buhari and his cabinet are not happy that Kachikwu’s disturbing letter found its way into the public domain.
In Kachikwu’s letter, addressed to the president and entitled ‘Re: Matters of Insubordination and Lack of Adherence to Due Process Perpetuated by the GMD NNPC, Dr. Baru’, he alleged that the oil corporation awarded $25 billion contract without following due process.
The minister insinuated that his office was being demeaned as neither himself nor the board of NNPC were privy to the $25 billion contract awards.
The said contracts cut across the crude term contracts – valued at over $10 billion; the DSDP contracts – valued at over $5 billion; the AKK pipeline contract – valued at approximately $3 billion; various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs – valued at over $3 billion, and NPDC production service contracts, also valued at over $3 billion – $4 billion.
These contracts were allegedly never reviewed by or discussed with the board of NNPC.
Although Buhari met with Kachikwu on Friday at the Presidential Villa, behind closed doors, for approximately an hour, he may have been advised not to comment on the matter any further, as he kept mum when he left the president’s office.
It is also not clear whether these contracts were signed while Buhari was away in London on medical vacation.
Baru was also at the Presidential Villa on Friday, to observe the Juma’at prayers with the president, but maintained silence on the matter, an indication that he, too, may have been cautioned not to react to the allegations.
A source claimed that the recent utterances credited to the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, where she praised former Vice President Atiku Abubakar may have stirred a course of action which Kachikwu’s letter would hasten.
Alhassan was reported to have revealed her support for Atiku’s presidential ambition, thus betraying what has been seen as double loyalty.
When Kachikwu met with the president, his facial expression and carriage when he walked down the fore-court to the president’s office gave him away as looking very confident and as one that stood by the allegations raised.
Kachikwu’s letter is not the first sensitive document that will be leaked under the current administration.
Official documents in the country are categorised into restricted, confidential and top secrets in order to ensure information is controlled within the classified space.
But recent events indicate that classified government memos are being leaked, exposing the country to espionage and unhindered access to political, economic, military and other forms of information about Nigeria by foreign competitors.
In May 2016, a memo from the Ministry of Information and Culture requesting for a loan to fund the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed’s trip to China was leaked.
The minister had in a letter signed by Director of Public Relations and Protocol, Peter Adama, and addressed to Acting Director General, NBC, requested for a loan of N13, 120,470 to enable his team travel for an engagement regarding the promotion of tourism.
Via source: Independence: Click HERE