By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— THE planned probe of Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, over alleged award of $25 billion contract without due process, insubordination and abuse of office as contained in the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s leaked letter to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Senate has been postponed.
Speaking, yesterday, during plenary, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said the investigation would now commence next Tuesday, but failed to give any reason for the sudden change.
The investigative panel,. chaired by Senator Aliyu Wamakko, ought to have started, yesterday, even as his earlier meeting scheduled last week was also called off at the last minute.
The chairman is yet to address the press about the modalities his committee would adopt to conduct the investigation.
It was, however, gathered that the case praying the court to stop the Senate from conducting the investigation may be the reason for the shift.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had last week, constituted the adhoc panel, following a resolution of the Senate and public outcry over the alleged award of the contract.
The committee was given four weeks to submit its report.
It would be recalled that Kachikwu’s letter, addressed to President Buhari, was leaked to the press penultimate week.
The minister alleged in the letter that due process was not followed in the award of contract valued at over $25 billion by NNPC.
In the August 30, 2017 letter, Kachikwu attributed the slow growth in the oil and gas sector to illegal practices by the departments and agencies under his ministry, especially the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, headed by Baru.