After carefully studying the response made by the GMD NNPC,  on the allegations of lack of due process in the discharge of its duties, the CONCERNED ADVOCATES FOR DUE PROCESS IN NIGERIA, a group of professionals/ experts seeking to entrench good conduct, probity and ethical practice in Nigeria public service and businesses, note  the following observations:

It is clear to any fair-minded person that the attempt of NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru’s to defend himself is unconvincing and an embarrassment to President Buhari. The response to the issues raised in the leaked Kachikwu letter to the President is a potpourri of contradictions, distortions, clear breaches of facts and logic. But, the facts are clear.

1. BARU’S CLAIMS THAT BASED ON THE RULES AND REGULATIONS, HE DID NOT HAVE TO CONSULT WITH KACHIKWU OR THE NNPC BOARD WHICH KACHIKWU CHAIRS.

But section 1 sub-section 2 of the law setting up NNPC, is clear that the NNPC Board has overall supervisory powers. How can these supervisory powers not include some form of oversight on contracts worth billions of dollars?

2. HOW CAN THE NNPC TENDERS BOARD APPOINTED BY BARU BE RESPONSIBLE FOR APPROVING HIS CONTRACTS?

Baru claims that the NNPC’s Tenders board, not the NNPC’S board is the right body to approve such contracts in question. But the Tenders Board is appointed by him in his capacity as GMD. How can a body appointed by him be the sole determinant of due process? This is clearly anti-due process and global best practices.

3. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT KACHIKWU AS NNPC GMD DID THE SAME THINGS THAT BARU IS DOING.

Here are our independent findings;

# Throughout the time he served as GMD NNPC, Kachikwu briefed the president weekly on all key issues and he did not take any action that was not approved by the president.

# Beyond that, it is on record that Kachikwu as GMD NNPC instituted a culture of transparency at all levels which included monthly publications of the operational activities and briefings of stakeholders.

# It is significant to state here,  that in his current role as GMD, Baru  has failed to continue this practice which is a key component of the oil and gas reform plan.

4. HOW CAN NNPC BOARD OVERSEE BUDGET WITHOUT INFORMATION?

Baru admitted that one of the board’s responsibilities is overseeing the budget. How can the board perform this function if it has no information about contracts?

5. WHY WAS BARU SILENT ON THE CONTROVERSIAL APPOINTMENTS HE MADE WITHOUT TELLING THE BOARD

It is noteworthy that Baru was silent on the issue of the appointments which he did, without informing the NNPC  board.  His silence confirms that the appointments were irregular and wrong.

6. BARU CANNOT HIDE BEHIND LEGALITY TO JUSTIFY WRONG ACTIONS.

There are no standards of transparency and due process that will allow NNPC to award contracts of that magnitude without carrying the board along. Due process is about being open not taking refuge behind distorted and convenient interpretations of the rules.

Due process is not just about the letter of the law. It is about the spirit of the law. People who have nothing to hide, welcome the opportunity to share information with relevant stakeholders. As they say transparency is the best deodorant.