“When it comes to fighting corruption in the National Assembly and the Judiciary and in the larger Nigerian sectors, the President uses insecticide, but when it comes to fighting corruption within the Presidency, they use deodorants,” declared Shehu Sani, a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the Kaduna Central Senatorial District in Northern Nigeria. Sani is an outspoken member of the ruling APC and a human rights advocate.
How can a government fighting corruption allow an individual with a contract approving ceiling of $10 million, approve Contract worth $2.7 billion?
In Nigeria corruption is the difference between $2.7 billion and $10 million
The fish has been caught in his own teeth, the teeth of the same bite, the bite of the media used to indict others of corruption. The very same way the bite of the media revealed the glory that Jonathan was, before him he became the gory he turned out to be, consuming him at the 2015 elections like biblical Jonah in the belly of the fish, is the same media bite, back for another meal, another trip from glory to gory, as the glory of a failed fight against corruption bites the dust.
The government’s script started with a corruption fighting claim, now the claim has run aground. for the same government that claims to fights corruption also conceals it at the same time, the difference is in the identity of the corrupt. The clothe of justice, has been found to have a slit to identify the essential who, will get justice. All this is going on as the Nigerian media has begun a gradual slide down the tunnel of Goebbels, where the presidency calls newsrooms and publishers to “kill” unfriendly stories and meets with top media executives, to influence the way the people perceive the government.
…And Dr Ibe Kachikwu was vindicated!
Like oil from a drum, on the 30th of August, 2017 a letter from this man, to the President of Nigeria leaked. The liquid truth of black gold, would change the reputation of the president. Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu is Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources while Mohammadu Buhari doubles as President of Nigeria and the country’s substantive Minister for Petroleum Resources. President Buhari’s most famous words that drive his anti corruption fight are:
“If we do not kill corruption in this country, corruption will kill Nigerians.”
The nation’s corporate oil giant, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its chief executive officer, Dr Baru are the focal point of this discourse, in a regime that claims to fight corruption.
About Dr Ibe Kachikwu…..from the website of NNPC: “Preceding his nomination and confirmation as Honourable Minister in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resource in August, 2015, he was appointed to the position of Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
…Prior to this appointment, he was Executive Vice Chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and General Counsel for ExxonMobil Nigeria affiliate Upstream and Downstream Companies in Nigeria. In his position as Vice Chairman and General Counsel of ExxonMobil in Nigeria, he oversaw the compliance programs of ExxonMobil in Nigeria and offered advice on issues related to adherence with compliance regulations and anti-corruption laws for the company in Africa. This role afforded him the opportunity to set major policy plans on, government relationship, investment policy and corporate governance for ExxonMobil in Africa as well as Influence investment from ExxonMobil Group into the continent and in extension Nigeria to the tune of over $15 billion.
Having played significant roles in the oil sector for over thirty (30) years, Dr Kachikwu has developed solid working relations in the Global Energy Sphere with contacts to most CEOs of large Petroleum Corporations, and Secretaries of Energy for key National Country players. His experience in the sector culminated in him being appointed the Lead Negotiator on diverse issues for ExxonMobil in Africa.”
Here are excerpts of the black gold, we rushed to scoop, titled:
“Matters of Insubordination and Lack of Adherence to Due Process Perpetuated by the GMD NNPC Dr Baru:”
“Contracts…..The legal and procedural requirements are that all contracts above $20m would need to be reviewed and approved by the Board of NNPC. Mr. President over one year of Dr Barus tenure, no contract has been run through the Board…Given the history of malpractices and the public perception of NNPC as having a history of non-transparency (Appendix 2: NEITI report), the NNPC Tenders Board (NTB) cannot be the final clearance authority for contracts it enters into. The NTB which is a collection of top level NNPC executives and COOs, with the GMD as Chairman, cannot continue to be the final approval authority for multi-million dollar contracts and transactions involving NNPC to the exclusion of the Board…The following major contracts were never reviewed by or discussed with me Board of NNPC:
The Crude Term contracts- value at over $10bn
The DSDP contracts- value over $5bn
The AKK pipeline contract- value approximately $3bn
Various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs value over $3bn
Various NPDC production service contracts value at over $3bn–$4bn
There are many more Your Excellency, in most of these activities, the explanation of the GMD is that you are the Minister of Petroleum and your approvals were obtained…As in many cases of things that happen in NNPC these days. I learn of transactions only through publications in the media.”
The NNPC Procedure and the Three Step Process…..This is the process for the award of contracts in the NNPC:
Step 1: Any contract with a value that does not exceed the $10 million ceiling or less, is within the approving capacity of Dr Baru, the Group Managing Director of NNPC.
Observation: It is global best practice to impose a spending and or approving limit on an individual holding any office, as part of a system of financial checks and balances. It can vary from the imprest of a few hundred naira for an office assistant in a small business in Ajegunle, (a high density, low income area of Lagos with a high cost of living) to the ‘1 billion naira imprest’ President Buhari by law is allowed in Nigeria.
STEP 2: Contracts valued between $10 million to $20 million fall within the approving limits of the NNPC Board, chaired by Dr Kachikwu. In other words, the board has the approving powers for contracts beyond what Dr Baru is permitted to approve in Step 1.
STEP 3: Any contract with an amount above $20 million, the NNPC Board must approve as the first step, and as the second, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources will present it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for final approval.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) is the highest arm of the Executive in Nigeria. It consists of all the ministers. It sits every Wednesday, with the President as Chairman. At these council meetings, beyond- the-limit contracts from government agencies are approved.
Observation: Going by the evidence of Dr Kachikwu, Dr Baru exceeded his limits in Step 1, bypassed Steps 2 and 3 without his boss (the president) who doubles as the oil minister calling him to order. This procedural breach, has implicated the president of conspiracy in “bypass” corruption, the very problem the administration claims to be fighting!
Adebisi Onanuga in his online article, for the Nation online on 12th October, 2017 titled, “Award of $25 Billion Contracts: Baru Violated NNPC Act, Says Falana.”,reported:
Activist-lawyer Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has said that the defense of the Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Baru, that he has powers to award contracts to the exclusion of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is illegal and violates the NNPC Act.
Falana contended that the defence of Dr. Baru failed to recognise the provision of Section 6 (c) of the NNPC Act, which has vested the Board of the NNPC with the exclusive power to enter into contracts or partnerships with any company, firm or person which in the opinion of the Corporation will facilitate the discharge of the said duties under this Act.”
Corruption Defined…..According to Transparency International, “Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.”
Due Process is the soul of public trust and when it is breached, corruption has occurred in ‘principle’ as the first and preceding step to corruption in ‘practice’, which may be ‘grand, petty, and political’. The disposition of Mr President with respect to the beyond-the-limit transactions of Dr Baru, point clearly to a breach of public trust and corruption in principle.
The online legal dictionary defines corruption as “an act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.”
The Baru ‘Advantage’ and His Financial ‘Leap’….By virtue of his appointment, Baru used his ‘advantage’ inconsistent with official duty to jump overboard’’ from the boat of millions into the ‘vast ocean of billions’ by approving amounts beyond his approving limits, thereby committing acts of corruption. The refusal/failure of the president to fire him has implicated the president.
remember, he is limited to approving contract sums less than $10 million
Political Corruption and Vote Buying…..According to Transparency International: “political corruption is the abuse of entrusted power by political leaders for private gain and explains that corruption in political finance takes many forms, ranging from vote buying and the use of illicit funds to the sale of appointments and the abuse of state resources.”
The focal point of political corruption is Vote Buying. In his work, “Money and Politics in Nigeria,” Victor Adetula observed:
“Since the return to electoral politics in 1999, and particularly after the 2003 general elections, Nigeria’s political parties have been criticized by the media, academics, observers and the electorate for corrupt and unbridled use of money in politics.”
Vote Buying…..Gram Matenga gave an insightful description of this form of political corruption in his article, “Cash for Votes: Political Legitimately in Nigeria,” in which he wrote:
Corruption runs deep in Nigeria – among parties, candidates and voters.
Nearly 80% of voters from 36 African countries believe voters are bribed either sometimes, often or always. In Morocco and Nigeria alone, only 5% and 6% of citizens believe bribing for votes never happens. This is a particularly chronic problem in Nigeria, where in 2007 seven out of ten voters believed that vote buying happens either ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’; nearly a decade later…Money has become a dominant, determinant factor in Nigerias politics. The poor are likely to be victimized by vote buying because their limited means makes them susceptible to material inducements, including offers of basic commodities or modest amounts of money. Vote buying, in its literal sense, is a simple economic exchange candidates ‘buy’ and electorates sell’ votes, as they buy and sell goods and services.
In vote buying transactions in Nigeria, voters are usually offered money, commodities such as food or clothing, and jobs”
He pointed out the legal provisions, which the political class circumvent:
“According to Nigeria Electoral Act, 2010, Article 130: “A person who (a) corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election; or (b) being a voter, corruptly accepts or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraph (a) of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.” While vote buying is subject to punishment, the attainment of compliance to this legal provision remains a challenge.”
The Punch, published on November 28, 2016, under the headline: “How can Nigeria curb buying of votes during elections?” states:
“Buying of votes is not an issue we can address overnight because the culture has come and it is staying with us. It has become the ritual especially in the rural areas, suburbs and other places that are difficult for government officials and agencies to monitor. Some (politicians) give cash; some give materials.
We need to fight poverty. There is poverty everywhere. So, how do we fight poverty, which has been our bane, overnight? However, some people are not really poor but they are greedy.”
Then in its 18th November 2017 publication titled “Anambra Election: No Money, No Vote – Onitsha Youth” , the Punch reported, “At Central School Odoakpu Onitsha, some youths were seen in clusters saying they won’t vote unless they were given money.”
President Buhari has been unable and unwilling to name those who sponsored his election in 2015, sad for a government that wants to be seen as credible, in an environment of corruption. This silence is most unacceptable. Financial inducement of voters was glaring during the November 19, 2017 governorship elections in Anambra State, South Eastern Nigeria. The three top contending parties All Progressives Congress (APC); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) were involved in vote buying.
According to a withheld source, who was an observer of the election, the breakdown of the voter inducement budget was:
APC – N5000 per individual.
PDP – N2,000 – N2,500 per individual.
APGA – N1,000 – N1,500 per individual.
Historically, PDP held federal power from 1999 to 2015, across three Presidents – Olusegun Obasanjo (29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007) Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (29 May 2007 5 May, 2010) and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (10 February, 2010- 10 May 10, 2015). The South Eastern Igbo speaking areas have traditionally been the stronghold of APGA, where Nnamdi Kanu, the Biafran advocate of secession comes from. The incumbent governor and APGA’s candidate for the top job of the state, Governor, Willie Obiano survived the financial onslaught to win a second four year term. APC is currently the ruling party wielding federal power.
The question is, where did the corruption fighting regime of Buhari get the funds for vote buying?
Observation: ‘Voter sociology’ seems to suggest vote buying by an unpopular candidate in an area where his/her party does not enjoy popularity may not swing votes in his favour, but may create a niche of possibilities. Going by the voting trend during the 2015 Elections, the President was not popular in the South East. Nairaland, the Nigerian online medium, in its article headlined, “Geo-political Breakdown of the 2015 Presidential Elections Results by Mr Politics” and published on 24th April, 2016 provided the following information on the popularity ratio of the President.
South East (5 states)
Buhari – 198,248
Jonathan – 2,464,906
In Nigeria, there is a common tendency to encourage the voting public to accept voter inducement, but the same voters are encouraged to vote according to their conscience. The explanation often given is that the money used to induce them, belongs to them.
When the result of the 2017 Anambra State governorship election which was lost by the ruling APC is viewed against the results of the 2015 Elections with the unpopular rating of the president in view, a close to accurate reflection of the will of the people, even in the face of vote buying, seems to be established. ( research is required along these lines.)
1. With the beyond-the-approved-limit expenditure of Dr Baru, is there a link between NNPC funds, the 2017 Anambra State elections, and the 2019 general elections in view?
2. Was Anambra 2017, a vote purchase test run with 2019 in view?
3. If the individual vote budget of the ruling APC was N5,000 in Anambra State, what was the bottom line for the entire campaign in the state and where did the money come from?
4. If Anambra 2017, was a vote purchase test run, with 2019 in view, how much would be required for the 2019 general elections for the entire country?
5. With the 2019 general elections in view, (and should President Buhari decide to run), he would need a national spread to be re-elected. Based on his lack of popularity in the South East and an established pattern of vote inducement, how much will he budget for the South East? The South East geo-political zone is made up of 5 states: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
6. Could vote purchase be the covert reason for Dr. Baru’s beyond the limit approvals, for which the president looks the other way in trademark ignorance?
7. Could the exclusion of the NNPC from the TSA, (as we shall soon see) have vote buying undertones? TSA stands for Treasury Single Account.
From hindsight of previous governorship elections conducted after 2015 in Bayelsa, Kogi, Ondo and Ekiti, the following may be established:
1. There is a link between vote buying and corruption. Most political parties are involved including President Buhari’s ruling APC, that claims to fight corruption.
2. The beyond-the-approved-limit spending by the present chief executive of the Nigerian oil giant, NNPC, which only came to light accidentally, without the man being fired is a dangerous pointer to the use of funds for elections. The precedence of presidential diversion of public funds for elections by the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan serves as a strong indication of what the future portends.
“Dasuki Paid N300m to PDP Chairman to Fund Election Campaign – EFCC News”, was the headline of the Daily Post’s publication on 17th February, 2016 where it was reported that,
“The EFCC on Tuesday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the office of the National Security Adviser, paid N300 million to former National Chairman of PDP, Bello Haliru to fund election campaign”
Dasuki was the national security adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a federal agency set up by law to investigate financial crimes in Nigeria.
One More Question
1. Could vote buying be the covert reason for the deliberate exclusion of oil money from the watchful eyes of Treasury Single Account (TSA), a public accounting system that would set off the alarm against the GMD of NNPC and his beyond-the-approved- limit transactions?
NNPC, the ‘Covert’ Escrow Accounts and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) Exclusion……. In a working paper for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) titled, “Treasury Single Account: Concept, Design and Implementation Issues”, the authors, Sailendra Pattanayak and Israel Fainboim define TSA as follows:
“A TSA is a unified structure of government bank accounts that gives a consolidated view of government cash resources. These Senior Economists in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF also add that: Based on the principle of unity of cash and the unity of treasury, a TSA is a bank account or a set of linked accounts through which the government transacts all its receipts and payments.”
Critical Observations – NNPC Excluded from the ‘Fraud Bursting’ Effect of TSA…..In that same paper, both authors also added that the primary objective of a TSA is to ensure effective aggregate control over government cash balances. Therefore, the essence of the TSA within the context of the presidency of Nigeria is to prevent corruption.
“Presidency Exempts NNPC, PHCN, BoI, 10 Others from TSA”. In this 22nd September, 2015, online publication in the Nation, Nduka Chiejina wrote:
“The Federal Government has exempted 13 government agencies from the current Treasury Single Account (TSA) arrangement related to electronic or e-collection and mop up exercise of government funds from commercial banks.”
The federal government’s exclusion of the NNPC from the TSA raises the next question.
Why Exclude the NNPC from TSA? Udeme Akpan wrote about escrow accounts of the NNPC following the TSA exclusion in the Vanguard. With the headline, “Trouble in NNPC over Non-Remittance of $629m to TSA published on 6th October, 2017″, he included the following details”:
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has been accused of failing to remit $629 million, being proceeds from its operations and the interest accruing to it in five different banks. Investigations showed that an account in Sterling Bank with number 0023515951 holds $26,560,076.76, while $16.6 million is in an account with number 1006160930 in Keystone Bank.
However, NNPC spokesman, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the accounts were not illegal, having been approved by the government and well known to many institutions, including the CBN and the Ministry of Finance…Vanguard gathered that $277.8 million is in Diamond Bank account 0033789960, while $19 million sits in two different accounts with First-Bank, $12 million is in a current account numbered 2006307767 and $6.9 million is in another FirstBank Escrow account with number 2016965894. This brings the total to $340,102,485.10. It was learned that another $289 million is placed via two separate cheques with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to sources, requests from relevant offices to the NNPC to remit the said total of $629,093,716.77 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company TSA account as is the practice, had been rebuffed for reasons yet undisclosed.”
These accounts referred to in Udemes publication are known as escrow accounts.
Investopedia defines and explains the concept as follows: “Escrow is a legal concept in which a financial instrument or an asset is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction. The funds or assets are held by the escrow agent until it receives the appropriate instructions or until predetermined contractual obligations have been fulfilled. Money, securities, funds, and other assets can all be held in escrow.”
Economic Times defines an escrow account as a temporary pass through account held by a third party during the process of a transaction between two parties. This is a temporary account as it operates until the completion of a transaction process, which is implemented after all the conditions between the buyer and the seller are settled.”
The point is that the President is also the Minister of Petroleum. In an environment of poverty, under-employment and unemployment; where votes are financially induced; and oil money is kept out of TSA by executive orders, orders held in trust as a federal policy, that keeps funds in escrow accounts, and the associates of the president are top executives of major national institutions, the scene seems set for corruption to occur, and the president must be held accountable if and when it does!
- Why exempt the cash cow; NNPC, from TSA remittances by policy?
- Why allow NNPC to have escrow accounts, only for the president to turn a blind eye to the beyond-the- approved-limit of the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC who bypassed due process, a practice which only came to light by a leaked memo?
- Why was Baru the NNPC boss not fired for breaching due process as his bypass amounts to corruption?
Buhari Implicated! Baru, who by law has an approving upper limit of $10 million, literally signed off billions with the approval and connivance of his boss, Mr President, thereby committing systemic and systematic corruption. Thus, Buhari, by this action is breeding systematic and systemic corruption!
“Buhari Approved N640 Billion Oil Contracts from His Sick Bed in London, NNPC Chief Baru, Indicates.” Samuel Ogundipe who wrote for the online news medium, Premium Times on 11th October, 2017, made the following facts available:
“President Muhammadu Buhari was granting approvals for oil deals to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation during the time he was on his sick bed in London and when he had relinquished presidential powers to his Vice President the head, Maikanti Baru, has indicated. Mr. Baru said Mr. Buhari approved at least two separate oil contracts on July 10 and July 31 worth $1 billion and $780 million, respectively.
The N640.8 billion contracts (at N360/$ 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.”
The corruption of Buhari (President and Petroleum Minister) and Baru (Group Managing Director, NNPC) was conspicuous when they approved amounts without due process between them. It was done at a time the president had transmitted power to his vice, and could neither function as either the president nor the petroleum minister by law. When understood within the context of vote buying, by the link to elections and the role oil money, the development becomes very disturbing.
The President indicted himself of corruption when he got involved in approvals after he transferred power; and has set a dangerous precedence for other presidents after him.
His indictment became evident when one of such contracts was passed through the correct procedure. From the Group Managing Director (Baru), it was presented to the Minister of State and Chairman, NNPC Board (Kachikwu) who in turn presented it for approval at the Federal Executive Council (FEC). FEC meetings are chaired by the President (Buhari) and in his absence by the Vic President. It was this act of due process that vindicated Dr. Kachikwu, but implicated the president.
On 14th December, 2017, Sani Tukur and Bassey Udo under the headline, “After Accusing Baru of Illegally Awarding $2.7b Contract, Kachikwu Presents Same Contract to FEC” provided the following information:
“The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday presented to the Executive Council of the Federation for approval the controversial $2.7 billion (about N827 billion) gas pipeline contract he accused the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, of awarding two months ago…But on Wednesday, Mr. Kachikwu said he presented the contract to FEC for approval again to correct the infringement of due process by the initial approval.”
Observation. It was only after the Kachukwu leak that the president saw it fit, to pass through due process to get approvals
Question: How many of such bypass contracts, by passed, before the lid was blown?
Nepotism, the lopsided name of corruption…..By acts of preferential treatment, which is against the principle of Federal Character, President Buhari through lopsided appointments in the oil and other sectors has given the core North (where he comes from) an advantage. These actions establish nepotism as a statement of corruption!
In Nigeria, the Federal character principle was designed to give equal representation to all the ethnic nationalities that define the Nigerian State, for the goal of building inter ethnic bonds of unity. It became a national necessity after the civil war of 1967-70, which was preceeded by the lopsided killings of the January 15, 1966 coup, the counter coup in July of the same year, and pogroms.
Dr Junaid Mohammed, in an interview with John Alechenu, published in the Punch on 23 July, 2016 with the headline, “Nepotism in Buhari’s Govt, the Worst in Nigeria’s History – Junaid Mohammed, said:
“…This is enough to prove to you that this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism in the history of government in Nigeria. In fact, in the history of Africa, let me make bold to assert that I have never seen any level of nepotism that has equalled or surpassed this in my entire life I am now in my 67th year…
Throughout my reading of history, political science and social sciences generally , I have never heard of any dictator or any tyrant under any system of government whether totalitarian or fascist, appointing his own niece to conduct elections in which he was either a party or going to be a party to; Buhari has done that…If this is not nepotism, then I don’t know what is nepotism and anybody who has the guts , the brutal arrogance to appoint these relations not bothering about public opinion , about the sense of justice, about competence , then you can see that he has a very serious question to answer.”
The Baru Ethnic Tilt/ Advantage, the Result of Due Process Bypass……Furthermore, Kachikwu in his letter, revealed how Baru bypassed due process in making appointments. Baru not only committed Bypass Corruption’ by disregarding the Board and the FEC for petroleum contracts, he did same with appointments. Kachukwu in his letter added:
“Like the previous reorganizations and reposting done since Dr. Baru resumed as GMD. I was never given the opportunity before the announcements to discuss these appointments. This is so despite being Minister of State of Petroleum and Chairman NNPC Board.
The Board of NNPC which you appointed and which has met every month since its inauguration and, which by the statues of NNPC is meant to review these planned appointments and postings, was never briefed. Members of the Board learned of these appointments from the pages of social media and the press release of NNPC…Mr. President please not that there is a Board Services Committee whose function is to review potential appointments and terminations of Senior Staff prior to implementation. This committee was also not consulted.
The above is just one of the many occurrences of disrespectful experiences I have encountered with the GMD as your Minister of State.”
The Baru ‘bypass advantage’, viewed in the light of Junaid Mohammed’s revelations, has an ethnic tilt to it, which is a dangerous reminder of the civil war and perilous steps that direction. An assessment of NNPC’s appointments, revealed that no Igbo; Nigerians from the South East geo-political zone was appointed. In its 4th September, 2017 publication, with the heading, Appointments in NNPC: Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF, Senators, Others Kick, the Vanguard, reported:
“The uproar followed news of a major shake-up in the NNPC, last week. Out of 15 appointments made, 10 were from the North (mostly Hausa Fulani), three Yoruba, two from the South-South and there was none from the South East…Reacting to the appointments, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, in a statement…said, This brazen disregard, marginalisation, and non-compliance with the Federal character provisions in our Constitution are the causes of lack of confidence which our youths have in our present governance structure.
As long as President Buhari continues to live out his speech abroad that his government will favour those who voted 97% for him against those who voted 5% for him, so long will the dissatisfaction and unrest in our polity subsist, Nwodo warned.”
President Buhari, had on July 22, 2015, at the United States Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C, said as a guest of the institution established in 1984:
“I hope you have a copy of the election results. The constituents, for example, gave me 97% cannot in all honesty be treated on some issues with constituencies that gave me 5%.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, PANDEF are ethnic and regional interest advocacy groups. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the custodian of the interests of the oil producing areas in the South East geo-political zone excluded by Buhari, Afenifere is the advocate, protecting the interests of the Yoruba- speaking people in the South-West geo-political zone. PANDEF, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, consists of the various ethnic nationalities in South Southern geo-political zone where most of Nigerias oil wealth is located.
The President is from Daura, Katsina State in the North West geo-political zone and Maikanti Kachalla Baru is from Bauchi State in the North East geo-political zone. None of these northern geo-political zones has an oil producing state, yet 10 positions out of 15, were allocated to that part of the country. In response to this, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, the Nigerian human rights activist, maritime lawyer and former President of Nigerian Bar Association, took the government to court for breaching the Federal character provision in making the appointments.
Bartholomew Madukwe, of the Vanguard, wrote on October 10, 2017, an article headlined, “Agbakoba Sues FG over NNPC Board Appointments”, reported that:
“…he challenged the non-inclusion of the South-East of the country in appointments to the NNPC Board. The legal practitioner alleged that the appointments by the Federal Government contravened the provisions of Section 14 of the Constitution, as well as the Federal Character Commission Act.
…it was also in contravention of the provisions of Sections 42 of the Constitution of Nigeria that prohibits discrimination of any of Nigerias ethnic groups such as, in this case, the South-East.”
Buhari’s additional portrait of nepotism……In the earlier mentioned interview with John Alechenu, which was published in the Punch on 23rd July, 2016 under the headline, “Nepotism in Buhari’s Govt, the Worst in Nigeria’s History – Junaid Mohammed”, said:
“Another thing I also want you to know is that Amina Zakari , who was and still a national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission representing the entire seven states in the North – West . It is being claimed that Buhari knows nothing about her appointment (before he became President), it is a lie.
When President Goodluck Jonathan was re -organising the INEC and he was bringing in Prof Attahiru Jega, he reached out to Buhari and asked Buhari to nominate somebody from the North-West so that that person would be a national commissioner. Of all the people in the North-West, Buhari decided to nominate his own niece, the daughter of his elder sister – Amina Zakari. She has been there; when Jega left, Buhari was determined to make her chairman, it was because of the massive backlash that he dropped the idea like hot potatoes.
As we are talking today, that woman is a national commissioner which means she is one of the principal election umpires. Throughout my reading of history, political science and social sciences generally , I have never heard of any dictator or any tyrant under any system of government whether totalitarian or fascist , appointing his own niece to conduct elections in which he was either a party or going to be a party to; Buhari has done that.”
Under Buhari, nepotism as corruption is a policy that negates the federal character, with far reaching consequences.
What then is Barumania? Here is an excerpt from my unpublished work, “Thawing Ice, the Cheap Paint on Rusty Iron: Strategic Reasons Why the Buhari Anti-Corruption Fight is a Failure:
“Barumania is a fascist systemic and systematic method of corruption, in which a corrupt individual, with a sphere of geo-political and political economic influence, who has a strong sense of loyalty to the presiding interest (often the government of the day) enjoys exemption from prosecution in exchange for his political and economic influence. The entire process is insured by propaganda, which places both the government and the individual of influence, outside the definition of corruption for mutual benefit of both. The alliance of interest between the corrupt individual and the government of the day that claims to fight corruption is strong. The strength of interest that binds them both makes the individual immune…..safe from prosecution; and a beneficiary of the blind eye of the government (many thanks to the slit in the blind folding cloth of justice) which overrides the persecution of such an individual. The binding interests that hold both might be Political economic, geo-political, ethnic, and/or religious…For Baru and Maina, all the above mentioned indices are at play.
Portrait of Barumania 1.….How can it be explained or justified. Malami, the Attorney General and minister of Justice, in a regime that is fighting corruption, visited Mr. Maina, a questionable character, and as a followup, has been using his position to get the courts to stop the legislature from invistgating him.
Rejoice Ewodage, of Channels wrote under the headline: “Senate Slams Malami Over Alleged Plans To Stop Maina’s Probe”, provided the following details:
“The Senate has asked the Attorney General of the Federation Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), to explain to Nigerians why he has been “running around the courts seeking to stop the probe by the two chambers of the National Assembly into how Mr Abdulrashid Maina, an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Interior, was reinstated into the service after being dismissed”.
Portrait of Barumania 2…… And they arrived, with their bags of loot, the loot of 53 suitcases to a warm welcome, the police received the thief. That is what Barumania is about. It is the basis for the mass exodus of people accused of corruption or with established cases of corruption against them, people with a political sphere of influence, who migrate from the defeated PDP, to Buhari’s corruption fighting APC, who get received by the President, with warm smiles. The 53 suitcases are a symbolic reminder of the double standards of the Nigerian president who as a military general, shut all borders in 1984, to effect a change in the country’s currency, only for his aide de camp, Major Mustapha Jokolo to show up at the airport and bypass due process…..due process bypass, has indeed come a long way!
Origin of Barumania….. I coined the word, Barumania, by combining the names of two prominent individuals associated with the question of corruption in the dispensation of Buhari, they are Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru; the Baru content and Abdulrasheed Maina; the Maina content.
On my Facebook page, Strategic Politics with Amaso Jack, published on the 3rd November, 2017, in a post titled, “Baru + Maina = Buramaina or Barumania…Buhari’s Equation on Corruption…Cheap Paint on Rusty Iron!
Barumania…Baru + Maina = Barumaina…Barumania…”
The Cambridge Dictionary gives the meaning of mania as something that fills a person’s mind or uses up all their time.”
Barumania is connected to the oilset mindset of the president, and his obsession for discovering oil in the North. An obsession so powerful it overlooks and disregards, the clear procedural steps, leading to the award of contracts, there by endorsing systemic and systematic corruption of Baru.
Buhari’s mania for oil discovery in the northern parts of Nigeria was captured by Rasheed Bisiriyu, Okechukwu Nnodim, Peter Dada, Ovie Okpare, Godwin Isenyo and ‘Femi Asu all of the Punch newspaper. Their joint publication on 17th August, 2016, Again, Buhari Orders NNPC to Search for Oil in North, put it this way:
“For the second time in three weeks, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has received an express order from President Muhammadu Buhari to explore for oil in the North.”
The president’s obsession with oil discovery in northern Nigeria, his approval of Baru’s beyond-the-limit financial expenditure; and his decision to allow his Minister of Justice meet the EFCC’s wanted criminal, Maina are all aspects of systemic and systematic corruption referred to Barumania!
Who is Baru? Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru is the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He is President Buhari’s Man Friday and hatchet man. He is the latest in a long line of undertakers, who by their actions as Nigerian oil chiefs, are trailed by several unanswered questions. These questionable oil chiefs, have a collective “Reinhard Heydrich life expectancy effect” on the quality of life of the average Nigerian with respect to our quality of living.
The Reinhard Heydrich Life Expectancy Effect…The man by his actions, reduced the life expectancy of the Jews in Europe, to an all time “final solution” low, the anti climax of generations of anti-Semitism. Just the way this man and his “allies” reduced the life expectancy of Jews, the oil chiefs by their actions have the the same result from a totally different route. For Heydrich and associates, it was Zyklon B.
Observation:Zyklon B was not the only mass killer. “In some killing centers…camp guards threw “Zyklon B” pellets down an air shaft. Zyklon B was a highly poisonous insecticide also used to kill rats and insects.”
For these Nigerian oil chiefs, systematic and systemic Corruption are the ‘slow motion’ Zyklon B. For Baru, it is Bypass Corruption, with the approval of his boss, Buhari (the President and the substantive Petroleum Minister). For Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the immediate past Petroleum Minister and her boss, former President Goodluck Jonathan, it was fraud, which is in the process of being established by legal procedures.
Just as Zyklon B, “a cyanide-based pesticide”, was made the worst agent of human death, humanity has ever known, apart from TNT (Trinitrotoluene) “the yellow solid” and the atomic bomb; corruption is the new Zyklon B, the worst agent of death, induced through non violent means of poverty that reduces life expectancy in Nigeria, with vast millions in its sphere of influence. Systematic and Systemic Corruption, is the code of conduct for several successive oil chief thieves in the Nigerian petroleum industry. One of them, Mr Dan Etete, is expected to stand trial soon.
Reinhard Heydrich’s Life Expectancy Effect, as used here, refers to anything (deliberate or otherwise) that has a consequential effect of lowering life expectancy, but outside genocide. Corruption is the breeding ground for poverty and disease, which in turn are the “agent orange” that reduce life expectancy. Agent orange was the defoliant, the United States used against the Vietcong in the Vietnam War. The corruption in the Nigerian oil sector is the foundation on which the house of horror called the Reinhard Heydrich’s Life Expectancy Effect stands.
An Important Observation: While Heydrich set out to exterminate the Jews in large “final solution” numbers, there is no evidence of this in the remotest sense against the Nigerian oil chiefs. It should be made clear that there is no evidence of actual or intended genocide against them nor is there any attempt to suggest that. But their management of the fossil fuel wealth, has a long term Reinhard Heydrich Life expectancy effect on life expectancy of the Nigerian people. In the 5th July, 2012, article titled, “Poverty, Pollution Lower Life Expectancy in Nigeria”, Heather Murdock wrote:
“Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control says poverty and pollution have reduced the national life expectancy to 47 years old, one of the lowest in West Africa. And while health officials dispute the number, none dispute the urgency of improving health care in the remote rural areas.”
Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was known as The “Blond Beast”, “The Hangman” and The “SS Butcher of Prague”. He was one of the founding fathers of the Final Solution that resulted in the death of millions of Jews a deliberate and terminal effect on the life expectancy of that race in Europe..
“The origin of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people, remains uncertain”, just the way the origins of corruption in the oil sector in Nigeria is uncertain. “What is clear is that the genocide of the Jews was the culmination of a decade of Nazi policy, under the rule of Adolf Hitler”, just the way specific names in oil sector theft stand out in. Nigeria.
It is not quite clear, who determined the use of Zyklon B, just as it is not quite clear who started oil sector corruption in Nigeria. Twould important events stand out. The oil wealth windfall that came the way of Nigeria, following the October 6 to 25, 1973 Arab Israeli Yom Kippur War, and the August 2, 1990 to Feb 28 1991 Gulf war, oil wealth.
The online news medium Saharareporters, published on November 29, 2012, under the headline: “Babangida’s $12.4 Billion Gulf War Oil Windfall Theft: Court Dismisses SERAP’s Okigbo Report Lawsuit”, made reference to the gulf war theft this way:
“A federal high court judge in Abuja today dismissed a lawsuit brought by a civil society group Social-Economic and Accountability Project (SERAP) to push former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida to account for $12.4 billion he reportedly stole from the Nigeria treasury after the 1991 gulf war that brought international oil prices to unprecedented levels.”
Heydrich and his fellow Nazis may have killed vast millions of Jews in a short time span of minutes, but by systematic and systemic corruption these oil chiefs (who have been passing corruption as the oil sector baton among themselves) have given a morbid interpretation of the song, Killing Me Softly with His Song. The song which kills Softly is corruption!
Little did Norman Gimbel (who wrote the lyrics with Lori Lieberman; and Charles Fox who composed the rhythm in 1971 know that the song which become a 1973 hit, thanks to the vocal chords of the talented singer, Roberta Flack, would capture corruption in the oil industry in Nigeria, the morbid equivalent of Zyklon B.
Who is Maina? Abdulrasheed Maina was sacked as Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms. He is about the most controversial figure in Buhari’s uncoordinated anti-corruption fight, filled with conflict and controversy. Maina himself is as uncoordinated as the anti-corruption fight that is designed to bring him to justice. On one level, he is wanted by Buhari’s EFCC the federal agency set up by law to investigate financial crimes in Nigeria, while on another level, he was known to have hosted Buhari’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Malami, abroad.
At yet another level, he was reinstated, through the back door, but the media’s bite, bit it to light. Those involved in his reinstatement within the Buhari administration, have all denied involvement to save their reputations. According to Channels, the Nigerian television news medium:
“…Maina was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged N2billion pensions biometric scam in November 2015, a 24-count bothering on procurement fraud and obtaining money under false pretense.
He reportedly disappeared from public glare only to resurface in October 2017, to take charge as an Acting Director in the Ministry of Interior with his return sparking reactions and outrages.
On October 23 he was, however, dismissed from the Federal Civil Service by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, who also demanded a full report of the circumstances of his recall and promotion.”
Using his words as their headline, “Buhari Okayed Malami’s Meeting with Me – Maina” and published on 29 November, 2017, Eniola Akinkuotu and Oladimeji Ramon disclosed that:
“Maina, who is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said this in a video sent to Channels Television.
He further claimed that while he was out of the country, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), paid him a visit during which he (Maina) told Malami about the N1.3tn.”
Kemi Busari, writing for the online news medium, Saharareporters in a report titled, “Buhari Ordered AGF Malami to Meet with Me, Ensure My Reinstatement Maina” and published on 28 November, 2017 reported that:
“The embattled former chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, on Tuesday said his reinstatement started with a meeting with the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari. In a video aired by Channels TV on Monday, Mr. Maina, wanted for alleged corruption, explained how the current administration held meetings with him and returned him to the civil service.”
There are conflicting reports about his Interpol wanted status, which makes the scenario even more complex. First Buhari’s presidency says he is wanted by Interpol, only for a Nigerian national daily to state otherwise. According to the report by the Punch on 2nd February, 2016 and published under the headline: “Interpol Declares Ex-pension Boss, Maina, Wanted for N2bn Scam”, reported as follows:
“The International Police Organisation, the INTERPOL, has issued a red alert on the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina.
A top operative of the commission, who confided in our correspondent on Monday, said that the INTERPOL decided to place the red alert on Maina, in response to a request from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to the source, the international police, in its response to the EFCCs request, referred to Maina as a wanted fugitive”.
The source said that the EFCC had written to the Inspector-General of Police to request his assistance to get the INTERPOL to issue a world-wide alert on Maina on November 18, 2015.”
The Vanguard’s Regional Editor for Northern Nigeria, Soni Daniel, and Erunke Joseph in their investigative report titled: “N17bn Pension Fraud: Police, EFCC speak on Maina, INTERPOL” published on October 31, 2017, reported the opposite.
“Checks conducted by Vanguard, yesterday, revealed that the current Interpols list of Wanted Persons for various crimes, including financial, organised crimes, drugs, trading on human beings and fraud did not have anyone with the name of Abdulrasheed Maina.
Finding by the newspaper, on Sunday, showed that no Nigerian, dead or alive, is listed among the 140 persons whose names and pictures appear on Interpol list of wanted person for various crimes conspicuously displayed on the agencys website: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/10/n17bn-pension-fraud-police-efcc-speak-maina-interpol/
The finding contradicts the Presidencys claim last Thursday that the fugitives name had just been added to Interpols wanted persons list after being issued with fresh warrant of arrest.”
Almost a month later and writing for the same newspaper, the Vanguard, Henry Umoru and Levinus Nwabughiogu, in a report headlined, titled, “I Was Never Sacked, Still in Active Service, says Maina as Malami, Eyo-Ita Differ” and published on 24th November, 2017, summed up the Maina affair this way with these words:
“As Malami, Dambazau, Oyo-Ita appear before House cttee
I don’t know how Maina was reinstated – AGF
- He wrote us through FCSC – HoS insists
We’ve no hand in his reinstatement – Interior Minister
222 recovered properties shared by EFCC – Senate Cttee
No 222 pension properties to share – EFCC”
Some of the principal actors in the reinstatement saga are Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Nigeria’s Minister for Justice; Mrs Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, Head of Service (HoS) and Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, a retired Lt. General, and Nigerias Minister of Interior who was a past Chief of Army Staff. It also includes the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) the human resources department of the Nigerian Government responsible for appointing, discipline, transfer and firing of civil servants.
For Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General to be linked with Maina (to the point of visiting him) is totally unacceptable for a regime that prides itself with a mandate to fight corruption. For the Malami, the chief legal officer of the state, to use his position to try to get the courts to stop the legislature from investigating the man is far from acceptable.
For Maina to be listed as wanted, only for his name to varnish from INTERPOL’s wanted list, captures the essence of BARUMANIA, and casts a thick shadow of loss of integrity over Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.
This government’s dealings with these men – Baru and Maina – make the Barumania point clear, making nonsense of any fight against corruption!
Systematic Corruption…..John Joseph Wallis, in his work: “The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American Political and Economic History”, explained that ‘Systematic corruption embodied the idea that political actors manipulated the economic system to create economic rents that politicians could use to secure control of the government. In other words, politics corrupts economics. The classic cure for systematic corruption was balanced government.
…corruption had come to take on its modern meaning: the idea that economic interests corrupt the political process.”
The lid blown open by Kachikwu exposed the systematic ‘bypass’ corruption of Baru. It involved.
- Jumping over:
- The NNPC Board and
- The Federal Executive Council (FEC)
- Dealing directly with the President over contracts in excess of the presidential ‘imprest’ of one billion naira, and Baru’s approving ceiling of $10 billion, at a time the president had transmitted power to his vice, but was carrying out executive functions.
The procedure or system that bypassed due process, defines systematic corruption as evident by the breach of Baru. when one of those contacts was presented by Kachikwu, through the proper process, due process was followed.
Without the Kachikwu memo, which was eventually leaked, Buhari and Baru would have gotten away their systematic corruption.
The Following Questions Arise
What are the exact number of contracts that have been awarded by Baru with Buhari’s knowledge and approval without due process?
- To what use was the money deployed?
- When did this procedure (that is systematic corruption) start?
- Was it there when Kachikwu was the Group Managing Director, of NNPC or
- Did it start with Dr Baru, the current Group Managing Director, NNPC or
- Did it start before both men occupied that office?
- If it started before both men when exactly did it start?
What Buhari and Baru did as political actors was to manipulate the economic system for their geopolitical and political economic interests, corrupting the political process by refusing to follow due process!
Systemic Corruption……What then is systemic corruption? The Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, which works in collaboration with Transparency International, Tiri and many other international organisations and NGOs provides this explanation of Systemic Corruption:
“As opposed to exploiting occasional opportunities, endemic or systemic corruption occurs when corruption is an integrated and essential aspect of the economic, social and political system. Systemic corruption is not a special category of corrupt practice, but rather a situation in which the major institutions and processes of the state are routinely dominated and used by corrupt individuals and groups, and in which most people have no alternatives to dealing with corrupt officials.”
The fact that Baru exceeded his $10 million limit, by approving amounts that run into questionable billions, (until the Kachikwu leak) is a pointer to systemic corruption. Excerpts from John Ameh’s write up for the online news medium, Saharareporters, headlined, “NNPC MD Says Buhari’s Chief of Staff Abba Kyari Asked Them to Keep N50bn Away From TSA”.
Under Buhari, by policy, oil money in kept beyond the reach of the fraud busting TSA. In the publication dated 14th of December, 2017 he reported that:
“The House of Representatives on Tuesday raised questions over a purported presidential approval withholding some special Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation accounts from being transferred to the Treasury Single Account. The accounts, with funds worth N50bn, are still being kept by commercial banks in breach of the TSA policy, which provides that all accounts belonging to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government should be transferred to the TSA. The TSA, a centralised Federal Government revenue account, is kept by the Central Bank of Nigeria…
An ad hoc committee of the House chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kano State, Mr. Abubakar Danburam-Nuhu, found out that the NNPC directed some commercial banks to still keep the accounts outside the TSA.
The CBN confirmed to the committee that it was aware of the excluded accounts, pointing to a document tendered by the NNPC saying that there was a presidential approval.
The said approval was a memo written by the Chief Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, authorising the NNPC to exclude the accounts from the TSA”
This indeed is a dangerous pointer to systemic political corruption! The exclusion of NNPC from the TSA, raises the recurring strategic questions.
- Why exempt the cash cow, NNPC, from TSA remittances by policy?
- Why allow NNPC to have escrow accounts, only to turn a blind eye to the beyond-the-limit expenditure of the group chief executive of NNPC whose beyond- the-limit expenditure only came to light by a leaked memo?
- Why was Baru the NNPC boss not fired for bypassing due process since breaching the process amounts to corruption?
A pertinent point of the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre’s definition of systemic corruption is this: endemic or systemic corruption occur when corruption is an integrated and essential aspect of the economic, social and political system. The exemption of the NNPC from the TSA, amounts to systemic bypass corruption, when the history of corruption in the oil corporation is taken into account and this further creates avenues for the possible diversion of funds for vote buying. In other words, the beyond-the-limit approvals of the NNPC chief executive officer amounts to ‘endemic or systemic corruption integrated as an ‘essential aspect of the economic, social and political system.
But what is not quite clear is how long this practice of beyond-the-limit spending by NNPC chief executive officers, has been on with the knowledge and approval of successive presidents. The recent discovery of cash in the possession of Andrew Yakubu, a past NNPC chief executive officer raises compelling questions about the history of systemic corruption in the NNPC. Soni Daniel and Charles Kumolu in their publication headlined, “Recovered $9.8m: Why Jonathan Sacked Yakubu, Ex-NNPC Head in 2014″, dated 11th February, 2017, in the Vanguard reported the following:
“Shocking revelations emerged yesterday regarding the recovery of $9.8 million cash by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from the Kaduna residence of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Adrew Yakubu, who claimed the recovered money was given to him by donors.
Saturday Vanguard learnt that the whopping amount of money was hidden in a fire-proof safe and kept in an inconsequential building allegedly owned by the former head of the state-owned Oil and Gas company. The discovery of the stashed money in Sabon Tesha, a suburb in Kaduna, was the peak of an investigation by the commission into the period Yakubu headed the NNPC in the last dispensation.”
One of such compelling questions is through what systemic means did Andrew Yakubu get such amounts?
The Forbes Award, Dividends of Barumania?
On 29th November, 2017, the Vanguard published a report headlined: “Baru Clinches Forbes Oil, Gas Award. Part of the report disclosed that:
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Wednesday, said its Group Managing Director, Mr. Maikanti Baru, has been awarded the Forbes Best of Africa Oil and Gas Man of the Year 2017 prize It quoted Forbes as saying, For these and other landmark achievements which you have recorded throughout your enviable career, your nomination for this prestigious Forbes 2017 Award has been approved by Forbes Custom’s Award Committee. This Award will be conferred on you by Forbe’s Mark Furlong”
Going by the preceding deliberations, Forbes, like The World Health Organization (WHO), seems to have imploded its balloon of integrity with that Baru award.
It seems the nominating process of Forbes set up Mark Furlong to make a similar blunder made by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, WHO, though both of them arrived at the same destination, from different points. Mugabe, for all his bad will ended up as a “good will” ambassador.
In the Guardian of 17th October, 2017, Ruth McKee and agencies in a report headlined, “WHO ‘Rethinking Naming Robert Mugabe as Goodwill Ambassador”, wrote:
“The head of the World Health Organization has said he is rethinking his decision to name Zimbabwes president, Robert Mugabe, as a goodwill ambassador after the move provoked global outrage. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the UN health agency, had this week asked Zimbabwes 93-year-old authoritarian leader to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa.
The decision triggered confusion and anger among WHO member states and activists who noted that Zimbabwe’s health care system, like many of its public services, has collapsed under Mugabe’s regime.”
The Forbes Award and Dr Baru
This award was given to a man who:
- Has an approving limit of $10 million, but approved Contract worth $2.7b
- Violated NNPCs Three-Step Process. Going by the evidence of Dr Ibe Kachikwu. Dr Baru exceeded his limits in Step 1; bypassed Steps 2 and 3 without his boss (the president) who doubles as the oil minister calling him to order. This procedural breach has implications on corruption, the very thing the administration is fighting!
- Bypassed due process for appointments into NNPC, by making appointments based on ethnicity, which is breach of the principle of Federal Character and a move that threatens national unity, with the possibility of renewed attacks of oil facilities in the Niger Delta
- Bypassed the due process by flooding top executive positions with people from areas close to his place of ethnic origin, without any evidence of being the best available hands. This strategic blunder can trigger a reaction from the restive recource control demanding youth, whose subsequent actions, taken to the extreme, can compromise the entire industry.
- The GMD, NNPC has been unable to resolve a nationwide fuel crisis strategically, his interventions are tactical and short-term, but what is needed are long term strategic solutions and grand strategic plans to secure the gains.
The Call to Justice by the Standard of the Oputa Panel….The connection between successive presidents and the various chief executives of the national oil giant, NNPC, has created a vacancy for investigation. The relationship from the experience of Buhari and Baru has created an “advantage gap” for systemic and systematic corruption, expressed in one word, Barumania!
Any anti-corruption fight that fails to document due processes to be followed, but excludes accountability of past leaders is a failed process. Presidents Jonathan, Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida and military heads of state, like General Abdulsalam Abubakar and others, must be brought to justice by the standard of the Oputa panel. The laws of the land must be amended to compel these past leaders to appear in public to give account of their service while in office. The procedure should involve prominent lawyers and the judicial proceedings must be covered live on television.
This process of arriving at justice will be a deterrent to future leaders who have private ideas about public funds.
The Oputa Panel……“The Oputa Panel was Nigeria’s 2011 Truth Commission. It was loosely modeled on the South African Truth Commission and it covered all periods of military rule in Nigeria. It was the Human Rights Violation Investigations Commission established to investigate the causes, nature and extent of human rights violations from 1966 to 1999.
…the commission set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2011 was headed by the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.”
President Goodluck Jonathan must be brought to justice in the full view of Nigerians, Oputa-panel style. The present Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation should have been the lead prosecutor, but he himself has been compromised by the Maina Affair, therefore Festus Keyamu, a man with probing questions for Jonathan should be drafted in as his replacement!
President Obasanjo must be brought to justice in the full view of Nigerians, Oputa-panel style with Femi Falana leading the prosecution team. His wealth of unanswered questions qualify him for the job.
President/General Ibrahim Babangida must be brought to justice in the full view of Nigerians Oputa-panel style. He must stand trial sitting, and by the choice of his preferred new look; without shoes. Femi Falana again, with his library of information on the man, should be the chief prosecutor.
General Abdulsalam Abubakar must be brought to justice in the full view of Nigerians Oputa-panel style, with Monday Ubani leading the prosecution team and Major Al Mustapha invited to give evidence.
President Mohammadu Buhari must be brought to justice in the full view of Nigerians Oputa-panel style at the end of his tenure with Mike Ezekhome as the lead prosecutor. The Governor of the Central Bank and the chief executive officers of other banks where NNPC escrow accounts are lodged must give account of the movement of NNPC funds in and out of their banks.
Buhari would be required to disclose the following:
– The source and amount of funding for his 2015 campaign
-The nature and cost of his 104-day treatment for which undisclosed public funds were spent.
– The amount of public money spent for his treatment.
-The amount of covert funds deployed for vote buying in Baylesa, Edo, Ondo, Rivers and Anambra State Elections; and the 2019 General Elections must be disclosed
-The exact total of the Baru Funds, based on an established link between state funds and vote buying as illustrated by Col Sambo Dasuki under Jonathan.
-The total number of contracts awarded by Baru with the approval of Buhari that did not follow due process. Kachikwu in his letter made an emphatic indication that there were other contracts:
“…The Crude Term contracts- value at over $10bn
The DSDP contracts- value over $5bn
The AKK pipeline contract- value approximately $3bn
Various financing allocation funding contracts with the NOCs value over $3bn
Various NPDC production service contracts value at over $3bn–$4bn
There are many more Your Excellency.”
-The total number of escrow (and secret accounts if any) that exist outside the TSA, holding NNPC’s funds must be disclosed.
-The value of those accounts must also be disclosed.
-The reason why the NNPC was excluded from TSA must be disclosed.
-Any other matter that would be discovered after now.
Until this is done, there is no fight against corruption. What this present administration is carrying out is a public relations campaign of painting others bad to look good. It is hiding under the guise of propaganda, claiming it is an anti-corruption fight!
In conclusion, The Baru Affair is a clear case of both systematic and systemic corruption! It is a sad commentary for a government that claims to fight corruption!
Barumania as expressed through systemic and systematic corruption, has reduced the purchasing power of Buhari’s words:
“If we do not kill corruption in this country, corruption will kill Nigerians.”
….to an empty statement that has no purchasing power to buy trust, best illustrated by the valueless state of the German mark, between 1918 and 1924, the economic reflection of the hyperinflation of the years of Weimar Germany (the womb from where fascism and Nazism, the dual twins of the Holy Roman Empire’s Third Reich emerged). Those words have failed like the sequential German failure in defeat at the end of the war. A defeat formalised by the November 11, 1918 armistice, in that ” Wagon of Compiègne”, a defeat held in trust by the June 28, 1919 treaty of Versailles, a defeat confirmed by the loss of purchasing power of the currency.
Buhari by his intent to fight corruption, has been found to come to equity, but with unclean hands! His fraud fight is a campaign of double standards, a betrayal of Justice and equity. He fight against corruption cuts the image of the blind folded symbol of Justice with a slit to identify who is coming to justice; friend or foe, may be rounded off this way:
FINALLY, “F” for farewell!
Faking fraud fight, fought for fame. Failing fraud fight, full of fallacies, from fascinating, fascists, full from “Fura” farms.
(Fura is a millet paste added to a fresh milk drink to make it thick, it is a popular drink in
in Northern Nigeria)
Failed! faulty fight, founded from faculties, formed from factories for fame! failed facts falling from fame.
Fantasy finally finished, formed for fame, finally faulted, far from facts!
Fooling farmished fainting, families from “films” …..farmished faces!
Fooled from false fights! Finished from falsehood?
Forever faulty? “F” for fraud , forms fantastic features for fishes fried from facilitated fraud!
…….facts from friendly fire, forming final features, from “fountainpens”, from facts!
Story last updated on January 24, 2018.
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