…Tasks him to clear air on N18bn IDP’s funds scandal
…Accuses Presidency of wooing lawmakers with $1m each to impeach Saraki, Ekweremadu
…Direct your enquiries to Minister of Petroleum Resources – Lai Mohammed
By Dirisu Yakubu & Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday charged President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration to tell Nigerians what they know about the N9 trillion ($25 billion) contract scam allegedly perpetrated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, under their watch.
However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “I do not know anything about the alleged contracts awarded by NNPC they are talking about.
‘’I think the right person to ask to react to the allegation is the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe kachukwu. I think what they should do is to go to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and find out.
‘’On my own part, since I do now about it, I will still make enquiry on that. For me, it is not possible for NNPC to award such a high magnitude contracts without due process. By the way, what are the details of the contracts? and where are they?”
But addressing a press conference yesterday with the theme, “Where Is President Buhari’s fight against corruption?”, the party urged the President to come clean and live up to his name as ‘Mr. Clean’ by throwing more light on the N48 billion meant for the upkeep of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, but which was allegedly diverted by officials of government.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who addressed journalists at PDP national secretariat yesterday, accused the Buhari’s Presidency of providing cover for corrupt elements in government, while simultaneously harassing opposition figures under the guise of fighting corruption.
“The PDP challenges President Buhari to explain why his anti-corruption fight has not been extended to investigate the corruption from the leaked memo detailing alleged underhand oil contracts to the tune of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars) at the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, which are under the direct supervision of President Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources. Why has investigation into this scam been suppressed?
“The PDP challenges the Buhari Presidency and the APC to explain to the world why his anti-corruption fight has not been extended to the internationally reported diversion and alleged stealing of N18 billion out of the N48 billion approved by the National Assembly for the rehabilitation of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rebuilding of six North East states ravaged by insurgency in the 2017 budget,” he said.
Taking a swipe at the Commander-in- Chief for his style of leadership in the past three years, PDP stated further: “Can the Presidency and the APC claim to be unaware of the motion by Senator Baba Kaka Garba from Borno Central, who exposed how persons known to have connections with the APC fraudulently cornered N1.2 billion from the Federal Government under the guise of supplying items to IDPs?
“The Buhari Presidency and the APC-led federal government have been doing all to divert public attention from their ocean of corruption and primitive stealing, including launching a brutal attack on the opposition, hounding innocent Nigerians for no just cause and seizing the airwaves to brand everybody else as corrupt, while underneath they shamelessly pillage our nation’s resources.”
Not done, Ologbondiyan also tasked President Buhari in his capacity as substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources to speak up on the dark clouds surrounding subsidy payment for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, noting that the N58 fuel tax being paid by Nigerians under his stewardship called for soul-searching.
He continued: “The PDP challenges President Buhari to explain to Nigerians whose interest he is protecting by refusing to allow an independent inquest into the alleged corruption in the handling of the N1.4 trillion oil subsidy regime allegedly involving officials at the Presidency, particularly those benefiting from alleged N58 hidden tax per liter which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidized cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145.”