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Amidst $25bn saga, embattled Baru hosts N’Assembly members to ‘special dinner’

Embattled Baru prays in Aso Rock with Buhari after Kachikwu's meeting with president

Reports emerged Tuesday night that embattled Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, may be trying to lobby members of the National Assembly, including members of the petroleum resources committees, in light of the $25 billion contract saga for which a probe has been instituted by the National Assembly.

Ripples Nigeria sighted an NNPC invitation card to a “special dinner for members of the National Assembly” to be held in Abuja on Tuesday night.

Specifically, the dinner with lawmakers was scheduled to hold at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja by 7pm.

It could not be immediately ascertained what informed what appeared to be a hurriedly planned dinner with the lawmakers.

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But sources familiar with the NNPC saga however say that the GMD may have initiated moves to lobby the lawmakers in order to get a soft landing in the probe around allegations contained in the leaked memo of Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

Baru is currently facing a probe over awards of projects, worth over $25 billion. The embattled GMD reportedly bypassed his supervising boss, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who doubles as chairman of NNPC Board, to award the said contracts without following due process.

The Senate had subsequently set up an ad hoc committee, headed by Senator Aliu Wammako from Sokoto State. The probe has already commenced, although the GMD is yet to be summoned by the committee.

The said dinner is coinciding with President Muhammadu Buhari’s dinner with principal officers of both chambers of the National Assembly.

By Ehisuan Odia..

 

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