Fresh revelations have revealed the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) connived with a cabal of persons to sideline Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu in making signficant decisions at the NNPC, whilst the President was on medical leave earlier this year.
A report by online publication, Premium Times unveiled the fact that $1.78 billion (N640 billion) in oil contracts were approved by President Buhari at a time the President was on medical leave in London and had handed over the reigns of government to his deputy, Osinbajo.
The N640.8 billion contracts (at N360/$ exchange rate) were approved when Mr. Buhari was receiving treatment for undisclosed ailments in London, and when he was not supposed to be exercising presidential powers, having named Vice President Yemi Osinbajo acting president in a formal correspondence to the National Assembly, Premium Times reports.
In his memo to Mr. Buhari, Mr. Kachikwu stated that when Mr. Buhari was unwell in London for several months between May and August, Mr. Baru tried to get direct approval from Acting President Osinbajo for some personnel changes at the NNPC.
But Mr. Osinbajo asked Mr. Baru to go back to Mr. Kachikwu and get his input and approval first before making the changes. Mr. Baru refused to consult Mr. Kachikwu on that.
For weeks, the changes were not made, until Mr. Buhari returned on August 19. By August 29, Mr. Baru announced the changes.
This prompted Mr. Kachikwu’s letter to the president on August 30, complaining that he learnt of the development in the media.
Sources at the presidency corroborated Mr. Kachikwu’s claim that Mr. Osinbajo rebuffed Mr. Baru’s attempts to get presidential approval behind Mr. Kachikwu.