Kachukwu’s Letter: SERAP Wants Baru Suspended

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By Aaron Ossai

Human rights group operating under the aegis of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an Open

Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting him to use his good offices and leadership position to urgently refer the allegations of corruption and abuse of office against Mr Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices

And Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for investigation and possible prosecution.

The organization also urged Buhari to “suspend Mr. Baru pending the referral to the EFCC and ICPC, and the outcome of any investigation by the anti-corruption agencies in order not to create the impression that your government is treating Mr Baru as a sacred cow. We urge you not to allow the allegations against Mr Baru go the way of past inconclusive investigations of allegations of massive corruption within the NNPC.”

In the letter dated 5th October 2017 and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “the allegations by Dr Kachikwu constitutes grave breaches of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act of 2000; and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNAC) which Nigeria recently ratified. In particular, the UN Convention against Corruption imposes clear obligations on Nigeria to investigate allegations

of corruption such as the present one; prosecute suspected perpetrators and ensure return and repatriation of proceeds of corruption.”

The letter reads in part: “SERAP is concerned that years of systemic corruption within the NNPC and looting of Nigeria’s natural resources have had uneven consequences against the vulnerable groups of the society, including the poor, women and children, perpetrating and institutionalizing discrimination, and jeopardizing the needs and well-being of future generations. If left unaddressed, the allegations by Dr Kachikwu have the potential of undermining your government’s expressed commitment to returning Nigeria to the path of transparency and accountability.”

“SERAP believes that Mr Baru’s case presents your administration with yet another rare opportunity to reassure a lot of Nigerians who may be worried about the direction of travel of your anti-corruption agenda. Rather than keeping silent on the matter, we advise you to use this case to show to Nigerians that no form of corruption will be tolerated in the NNPC under your watch.”

End

 

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