The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, and his brother, Dumebi Kachikwu are embroiled in a bribery scandal that may further put to test the Buhari administration’s mouthed mantra of zero tolerance for corruption.
THEWILL can authoritatively report that all is not well between the Kachikwu brothers and their erstwhile ally, Mr. Igho Sanomi, the chairman of Taleveras Oil, following the Minister’s inability to deliver oil contracts to the businessman as agreed after allegedly receiving over a billion naira in kickbacks.
The brewing crisis in the scandal is that the Kachikwus are unwilling to return the kickbacks, which Sanomi paid partly in naira and some choice properties in Maitama-Abuja and Banana Island-Lagos.
Sources knowledgeable about the development told THEWILL that Sanomi has been pressuring the Kachikwus to return his monies and houses that were transferred to the Minister upfront through Dumebi to facilitate oil contracts while he served as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Total payments to the Minister, who hitherto doubled as the NNPC boss, from Sanomi are estimated to be close to N2 billion as at when the shady deal was consummated, insiders say.
Dr. Kachikwu, a former top executive at Mobil Oil, was once the most powerful and influential cabinet official in the Buhari administration while he superintended over the NNPC. The notoriously corrupt public official was even planning to run for the governorship of Delta State under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, but presently that power and influence are gone…Associates say his mobile phones are now often silent and the visitors’ register in his office are dotted with empty lines begging to be filled.
Whispers on the streets are that he has lost his influence politically and remains a shadow of his former self whilst basking in very low esteem and inferiority complex. Our correspondent learnt that he contemplated resigning from government after his sudden ouster from the NNPC but was advised against such a move to stave off prosecution by the presidency.
THEWILL can authoritatively report that Kachikwu lost his lucrative position as GMD of NNPC barely one year after his appointment due to shady and corrupt practices after the EFCC released series of damaging reports to Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, detailing how the flamboyant and perverted Minister used his brother to receive and launder bribes from companies seeking contracts. The classified report which was sighted by one of our correspondents, named Mr. Sanomi and his company, Taleveras as one those that funneled hundreds of millions of naira into an investment account controlled by Dumebi in one of Nigeria’s oldest banks from where private accounts controlled by the Minister were credited with chunks of the bribes.
This newspaper understands that President Muhammadu Buhari was going to fire Kachikwu from his cabinet over the report but General T.Y. Danjuma, who facilitated his appointment, intervened and got him a soft landing.
“As Minister of state for petroleum, his hands are off the cookie jar and he has zero influence over the affairs of the NNPC under current GMD Maikanti Baru, who reports directly to the President,” a source in the presidency said.
Meanwhile, insiders squealed that Sanomi is spoiling for a dirty fight with the Kachikwus over their failure to return his money and houses.