Alleged Looting: Why President Buhari Might Be Investigated After Leaving Office

Alleged Looting: Why President Buhari Might Be Investigated After Leaving Office

With the recent allegations of corruption being brought to light, there is definitely no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari will be the most investigated president after he leaves office.

The Buhari-led administration which has been known for zero tolerance towards corruption seems to be entangled in a circle of corrupt practices and several top officials have been accused of alleged looting.

The Petroleum industry, headed by President Buhari, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is saddled with the mandate of fighting corruption, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Ministry of Justice headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation have all been involved in a web of various corruption allegations.

An analysis of each of these scenarios will show the alleged massive looting going on in the Buhari government.

Alleged Massive Corruption in the NNPC

The NNPC which is under the petroleum sector headed by President Buhari has siphoned billions of naira with nothing to show for. The last audited reports and financial statements of the NNPC showed that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) generated no revenue in 2018. The refinery, however, incurred an operating loss of N64.5 billion, raising questions if the refineries in Nigeria should continue operating.

All of these happened despite the fact that Nigeria has spent about $25 billion in turnaround maintenance of refineries in the past 25 years.

The government, between 2013 and 2018, pumped about $396 million into the maintenance of refineries, however, the refineries are functioning at 0% capacity.

Nigeria continues to spend billions of dollars to import refined crude products into the country.

The Senate during one of its plenary in February 2020, said it was ready the investigate the NNPC’s claim of spending these huge amounts on the maintenance of refineries which are moribund.

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Recall that in January 2019, the late NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru had said the refineries in Nigeria had not been properly serviced in the last 42 years. This statement generated controversies of whose “pockets” the monies spent on turn around maintenance of the refineries had been entering.

Appointing an Illegal Interim Management Committee for NDDC 

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was established by an Act of the National Assembly in the year 2000 to address underdevelopment of the oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta following years of neglect and agitation.

Since inception, it was run by a properly constituted Board of Directors until 2015 when President Buhari came into office.

The Federal Government ignored the law setting up the Commission and did not nominate a Board of Directors after dissolving the Board it met on assumption of office; rather, it appointed someone from outside (who did not go through the mandatory senate screening) the Commission as Acting Managing Director for almost one year.

Despite the Senate screening a statutory 19-board member committee, the president illegally installed an Interim Management Committee for the NDDC.

Speaking at a lecture, Rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, said:

“I am submitting that the management of the economy includes the appointment of personnel, the board members. It is so bad that some of the appointments have nothing to do with the law. For the NDDC, (the law says that) there shall be 19 members of the Board of NDDC. The Ninth Senate screened and when it was time for the President to inaugurate them he decided to jettison the Board and appointed an interim (management) committee. I am submitting here that there is no provision in the NDDC Act for an interim (management) committee.”

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President Buhari appointing and extending the tenure of the interim committee is against the provisions of the NDDC.

Nigeria is currently witnessing the current financial shenanigans rocking the NDDC. It is alleged that the commission mismanaged the sum of N40bn within 3 months. Recently, when the Interim Management Committee appeared before the senate, they failed to give an account of how N143bn got missing which stalled the Commission’s budget.

The EFCC Corruption Saga

In the last two weeks, shocking corruption allegations against the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu have been exposed.

Mr Magu who was invited by the panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Appeal Court in the Presidential Villa in Abuja on July 6, was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he was detained.

President Muhammadu Buhari affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu on July 11.

Several corruption allegations levelled against Magu include alleged mismanagement and re-looting of recovered public assets; insubordination and abuse of office; late action on the investigation of P&ID, leading to legal dispute; not respecting court order to unfreeze an N7 billion judgement in favour of a former executive director of a bank; not providing enough evidence for the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke; alleged delay in acting on two vessels seized by the Navy; alleged favouring of some investigators called Magu Boys; reporting some judges to their presiding officers without deferring to the AGF; alleged sale of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends; alleged issuance of investigative activities to some media prejudicial to some cases, among several others.

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All these alleged lootings and re-looting happened in an anti-graft agency that claims to be working with an administration that has “zero-tolerance” for corruption.

Alleged looting and corruption by the trusted late chief of staff

Without the approval of the National Assembly or budgetary provisions, the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari illegally approved and shared over $1billion accruals from OML 11 oil block. His friends from Sahara Energy allegedly benefitted from the illegal deal.

This act raised brows among many inside sources who questioned if the anti-corruption agenda of President Buhari could yield results with the level of corruption happening under his nose.

A regime where synergy between Ministers and Ministries is lacking

Frankly speaking, heads of establishments under the Buhari government lack synergy. Here are some scenarios to demonstrate that:

The rift between Minster of Communication, Isa Pantami and the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, which was brought to social media.

Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa accused Mr. Pantami of using armed men to chase members of staff of the NIDCOM out of an office space given to them by the Nigeria Communications Commission NCC.

In response, the Minister countered her claim, describing it as a fat lie. The Minister also alleged the story to be false.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa dragged the case further by calling him a liar and also describing his disrespect for women as legendary.

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