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REVEALED: Ibe Kachikwu Allegedly Loses NNPC Power tussle to Aisha Buhari-led Northern Cabal…… + How Theophilus Danjuma Made Him!



We can authoritatively report that Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has lost a bitter and acrimonious tussle for supremacy and power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to a Northern cabal led by First Lady, Aisha Buhari. There had been rumors and speculation about internal disputes and ethnic tensions in the NNPC between Kachikwu and NNPC group Managing Director, Maikanti Kacalla Baru. NNPC sources who elected anonymity told us that the cold war is now over as President Buhari has sided with the northern cabal who have muzzled Kachikwu out of the commanding heights of authority in decision-making on Nigeria’s oil industry.

It seemed a new day had dawned on NNPC, after Kachikwu became the first boss of the agency under Buhari. But, in reality, Kachikwu, who doubles as NNPC Board chairman has been embroiled in bitter power struggles with a northern cabal, who saw Kachikwu as standing in the way of their ambitions. NNPC sources confided to us that the northern clique; some of them with very close ties to the first lady had pressured Buhari to appoint Baru to head the NNPC, but Buhari refused. Despite the pressure, Baru was elbowed aside by Kachikwu; he landed the job of NNPC’s exploration and production chief answering to Kachikwu.

Aso Rock sources told Society Reporters that Kachikwu owed his appointment as NNPC boss to one of Buhari’s closest associates, former defence minister, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, who convinced Buhari that the optics of appointing Kachikwu, who hails from the oil-rich Niger Delta, will forestall any renewed violence in the region by militants still angry following the defeat of President Jonathan. In the event, the Aso Rock sources hinted, Kachikwu was “closely watched” by northerners including Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari; Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Secretary General at the Finance Ministry, and Tajudeen Umar, a close confidante of Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano and former CBN governor.

The Trojan horse

After failing to get Baru appointed NNPC boss, the northern cabal who were hell bent on maintaining control over Nigeria’s oil resources made a strategic retreat and plotted their next move. As oil prices plunged and the Nigerian economy headed into a recession, the cabal worked tirelessly behind the scenes to perpetrate hoarding to create artificial fuel scarcity to portray Kachikwu as incompetent. After that strategy failed to produce the intended results, the cabal enlisted the support of the first lady, Aisha Buhari, who used her position as the president’s wife to get Baru elected NNPC boss last August. Prior to his appointment Baru had languished as a senior adviser to Kachikwu, NNPC boss at the time.

With Aisha Buhari having his back, Baru decided to savor his ascendancy over NNPC by flexing his muscles. With little or no love lost between them, Kachikwu moved to clip his wings before he takes flight. Thus the chess game of power relations within Nigeria’s oil sector became enmeshed into Baru’s confrontation with Kachikwu, leading to a stand-off over who was the boss when it comes to oil matters. Neither men are allies Buhari can afford to do without, but Buhari eventually bowed to pressure from his constituency and threw Kachikwu under the bus. Baru, who hails from Bauchi, now calls all the shots at NNPC, and reports directly to the president; the de facto oil minister. In the meantime, Kachikwu as Petroleum Minister of state, and NNPC Board Chairman, has been reduced to a mere spectator with no powers to direct and exercise supervisory authority over NNPC activities.

The northern cabal completed their takeover of the oil sector following the recent appointments of Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau and Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi as executive secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) respectively.

Kachikwu’s Star Wanes

We learnt from NNPC sources that the pressure to throw Kachikwu under the bus was mounted by the first lady. Nigerians might not have been aware of the underlying factors that pushed First Lady Aisha Buhari to go public, threatening in an interview with the BBC that she would not support her husband’s re-election bid come 2019. She had earlier bemoaned the absence of “change” elements in her husband’s government. Aso Rock sources told us that the “strangers” Aisha Buhari was ranting against included Kachikwu, who she metaphorically contrasted with a situation in which “monkey dey work and baboon dey chop”. In this case, the proverbial monkey (northerners) worked hard to elect Buhari president, but the baboon (Kachikwu) is mindlessly reaping the fruits to the chagrin of the apostles of change and their hangers-on. We also learnt that, it was only after Buhari sided with Baru and the northern cabal that the first lady reversed herself and promised she will support her husband’s re-election bid come 2019.

The power struggle between Baru and the technocrats led by Kachikwu has exposed the NNPC as an agency riven by internal disputes and ethnic tensions. Aso Rock sources also tell us that Kachikwu losing influence in oil affairs to the northern elite has political implications for his home region, the Niger Delta. Kachikwu, the sources aver, has been instrumental in establishing contact and negotiating with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) that has been vandalizing oil pipelines in the area since February. Working behind the scenes, Kachikwu, who has close ties to the oil majors, has been the arrowhead of tortuous negotiations between the federal government and Niger Delta militants towards some sort of deal that will include revamping the amnesty program for ex-militants, reduce the military presence in the region, clean up pollution; a greater share of oil revenue and also the construction of a maritime university in Gbaramatu kingdom.

“Operation Crocodile Smile”

Politically sensitive and combustible, Kachikwu’s peace overtures to the NDA was brushed aside by northerners within the military espousing a harder line. The security-minded northerners around Buhari, notably National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, and Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who both hail Borno; and the Director of State Security Service (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura, all prefer a military response including overwhelming force to neutralize the NDA while pretending publicly that they are negotiating a peaceful solution. Last September, Defence Minister Mohammed Mansur Dan-Ali presided over what was advertised as a “military drill” dubbed “Operation Crocodile Smile” involving 10,000 soldiers, including Special Forces, in Bayelsa State. “It’s not to harass, intimidate or threaten the community but to protect them from miscreants and oil thieves,” Dan-Ali said at the closing ceremony; but it was a clear signal that Buhari is talking peace while preparing for war.

Since the Avengers announced a unilateral ceasefire on August 20, ostensibly to give negotiations a chance, the government has been quiet about its strategy. The Avengers appointed Chief Edwin Clark, the veteran Ijaw leader and advisor to former president Jonathan, as leader of their negotiating team. Clark made 16 demands to the Nigerian government during a meeting with Kachikwu and President Buhari last Tuesday; warning that other militant groups are proliferating alongside the Avengers and would deepen the crisis if the government didn’t act quickly on the demands.

Yet, senior military officers, most of them northerners, argue that the military can defeat the militants with a smarter strategy. They point to an operation by Special Forces in which five militants were killed and two were arrested. But Kachikwu and the oil majors are more skeptical. Past experience suggests it would take a protracted heavy-handed military campaign, and more damage to oil installations, to defeat the new militant groups, who are more skilled and resilient than their MEND predecessors; they use deep-sea divers to attack far-flung pipelines and geo-positioning technology to escape capture.

We understands that the Gbaramatu Peninsula neighbors Exxon’s oil and gas-gathering facility and export terminal, and is a trunk route for the West African Gas Pipeline, which originates at Escravos and runs to Ghana. It’s also within striking range of Shell’s Forcados export terminal, which the NDA attacked on February 14 in a spectacular and highly technical operation, bombing its underwater pipeline. It took seven months for the pipeline, which carries 400,000 bpd to the Forcados Export Terminal, to be operational. According to sources close to Shell, 250,000-300,000 bpd was lost over seven months, at an average price of $45 per barrel, amounting to a colossal loss to Shell of $3 billion. Meanwhile, an oil industry expert told us that the stranglehold exercised by northerners like Baru at the NNPC will lead to corporate paralysis. He expressed bitter disappointment with the president for giving in to the pressure of his wife and the northern cabal, saying Baru’s appointment as NNPC boss has installed the “culture of incompetence, political opportunism, graft, brigandage, self-centeredness, insensitivity, impunity, mediocrity and greed.” The source said prior to Kachikwu’s appointment, NNPC was bankrupt and oil majors often had to acrobatically invent ways to lend money to NNPC in return for a share of crude that would normally go to the state.

The move to open NNPC’s doors last year to executives from the private sector like Kachikwu (ex- ExxonMobil) and NNPC legal advisor Chidi Momah (ex-Total ) breathe some new life into the NNPC as Kachikwu had begun finding solutions to the NNPC’s chronic shortage of cash, which hobbles its joint-ventures with the oil majors. Presently, NNPC must finance 55% of development costs on all joint-ventures it operates with Shell , ExxonMobil, Chevron , Total and ENI . It remains to be seen whether with Kachikwu now a spectator, the oil majors will keep the tap open for Baru and his northern clique.

Source: huhuonline

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JUST IN: Tinubu Meets Ibori, Wike, Makinde In Abuja




President Bola Tinubu is currently holding a closed door meeting with James Ibori, former Governor of Delta state; Nyesom Wike, the immediate past Governor of Rivers state; and Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.


The meeting is taking place at the President’s office in Aso Villa.


Reports say the three politicians arrived at the Aso Rock Villa at about 4:20om on Friday, 2 June, 2023.


Details shortly…

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Court Orders Union Bank To Pay Former Manager N20.2m Over Wrongful Termination…….



Justice Maureen Esowe of the Lagos division of the National Industrial Court has ordered the Union Bank to immediately pay the total sum of N20, 261, 810 million to one of its retired staff, Asenime Claire Ojuzo.


The judgment sum according to Justice Esowe, is the shortfall of gratuity Union Bank ought to pay Mrs. Asenime, upon her retirement.


Justice Esowe made the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked NICN/LA/534/2017, filed by a retired officer and the bank.


The claimant, a former senior manager at Union Bank, through her lawyer, Chief Paul Omoijiade, had asked the court to “declare that the purported approval by the bank of the claimant’s withdrawal from service which the Claimant did not apply for was wrong.


“A declaration that the purported determination of the Claimant’s contract of service by Union Bank is wrongful, same having been done without due process as laid down in the bank’s handbook and the bank’s custom and practice.


“A declaration that the purported removal of the claimant from his employment as Senior Manager (SM) without due process amounts to redundancy for which the claimant is entitled to redundancy benefit.


“A declaration that Union Bank is in arrears of N18, 114, 600 million, in the payment of the Claimant’s gratuity.


“A declaration that the deduction of the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, as outstanding loans, status car, unearned medical, outstanding status generator, and car from the claimant’s gratuity is unlawful.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s gratuity.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N18,114, 600 being a shortfall in the gratuity paid to her.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pays the sum of N12 million, to the Claimant as compensation for the defendant’s wrongful and unlawful action withdrawing the claimant’s services without due process.


“An order of the honourable court for the payment of interest at the rate of 20% on the deductions and withheld gratuity under paragraphs (f) and (g) above.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pay to the claimant the sum of N1 million, being the cost of litigation.


During the trial of the suit, the claimant told the court that she was a staff of the bank until her employment was wrongfully withdrawn on November 22, 2013, and her terminal benefits were never paid in full.


She also told the court that Union Bank also deducted the sum of N16, 106, 219.66 million, which the bank referred to as outstanding loans, unearned housing, status car, and unearned leave from her benefit, adding that, said she never applied for withdrawal service, therefore, the withdrawal of her services is tantamount to redundancy.


Defending the suit, Union Bank through its witness, Francis Idiaghe, who was led by Feliz O. Ogungbemi, told the court that there is no provision in the Trust Deed of variation that the claimant or any employee of Union Bank can remain in service till the age of 60. Rather, than underemployment, either party can determine the contract by giving a month’s notice.


The witness told the court that the Defendant, exercising her right under the contract, determined the contract by a letter of withdrawal of service dated November 22, 2016, issued to the claimant. Adding that the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s terminal benefits covers the loans (N13,683,188.86 million) taken by the claimant during the pendency of her employment and the outstanding and unpaid money (N2,247,210 million) covering the cost of her status car and a generating set.


Union Bank in its final written address, asked the court to determine “Whether the claimant is entitled to a declaration that the withdrawal of the Claimant’s employment is unlawful.


“Whether the Claimant having been paid her terminal benefit and having accepted same, can be heard to complain that his contract was not properly determined.


“Whether the termination of the Claimant of employment by the Defendant amounts to redundancy.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N18,114,600.00 (Eighteen Million One Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Six Hundred Naira) as outstanding gratuity from the Defendant.


“Whether the deduction of the sum from the Claimant’s terminal benefit in the liquidation of Claimant’s outstanding staff loans, status, generator loan, and unearned medical is unlawful.


“Whether by the evidence placed before this Honourable Court, the Claimant is entitled to damages in the sum of N12 million.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to interest at the rate of 20% on the alleged outstanding gratuity and the amount allegedly deducted from her gratuity.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N1 million, as cost of litigation.”


Justice Esowe, in her judgment on the suit after the evaluation of parties’ submissions, and citing plethora of legal authorities, held that: “having gone through the claimant’s claim, evidence led in support, the defendant’s defense, evidence led in support, with the final written submissions of Counsel on both sides, this Court, while adopting all the issues formulated by Counsel, has distilled a sole issue for determination, to wit: Whether the Claimant has proved his case to be entitled to the reliefs sought.” culled: Business Hallmark.

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Dr. Ope Banwo Speaks On Transitioning  Naija Lives Matter Organization To Non-Partisan Mode 





***Says Organization Will Now Focus On Projects To Improve Nigerian Lives


Dr. Ope Banwo, the founder of Naija Lives Matter (NLM), a non-governmental organization committed to better lives for Nigerians has explained the organization’s decision to refocus its priorities.


In a statement released on Tuesday, Dr. Banwo stated that the organization’s mission and goals extend beyound the 2023 elections, electioneering campaigns, and politics.


According to him, the process of the organization had been clearly communicated from its very beginning to avoid any accusations of opportunism or policy inconsistencies, which are unfortunately common in our country when disagreements arise.


He said; “Since 2011, the NLM organization has consistently de-emphasized its partisan support for any specific candidate after the elections and campaigns are over, enabling it to concentrate on its global mandate of making Naija lives matter to all Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations.


“When Naija Lives Matter endorsed Peter Obi as our chosen candidate in August 2022, we made it clear that our partisan involvement would solely extend until the conclusion of the elections. Subsequently, we would focus on other aspects of our mission and goals, for which our organization was founded in 2011.


“In the past, we supported Jonathan through the GEJ project, rallied behind Buhari through the Buhari4Naija project in 2015, and even had a Moghalu4Naija project before eventually endorsing Peter Obi for the 2023 elections.


“Our commitment is not irreversibly tied to any particular politician; it lies in what we believe is in the best interest of Nigeria and its people,” Dr. Banwo said.


With the transition, NLM now moves beyond the recent election cycle, with a current focus on organizing projects aimed at making the lives of all Nigerians better.


“Henceforth, we shall therefore leave the legal and political affairs to lawyers and politicians, and respect the decisions of the courts, whatever they may be.


“In alignment with our mandate and the previously declared engagement period for the 2023 elections, we hereby inform our members that Naija Lives Matter will now shift its focus towards other aspects of our charter such as mass non-partisan mobilization on national issues, youth empowerment training, workshops, community assistance services for the less privileged in Nigeria, and other activities.


“In light of this new direction, we will convene meetings with our state directors and cell leaders to announce additional NLM initiatives that extend beyond politics in the coming days. These initiatives will focus on non-partisan national mobilization, youth empowerment through training and workshops, and community-building responsibilities.


“All our threads on WhatsApp and other social media platforms will once again be dedicated to NLM as we officially conclude the Peter Obi Nation Project for the 2023 elections,” Dr. Banwo noted.


Thanking members of the Peter Obi Nation Project of the NLM organization for their tremendous efforts during the 2023 elections, Dr. Banwo said that together they fought valiantly in a highly contested electoral process, adding that together they gave as much as they got in the very bitter partisan electioneering campaign for the organization’s endorsed candidate, Peter Obi.


“We did not compromise and many of us even paid the price of alienating some of our long-term friends in the heat of partisan battle.


“To this end, I am immensely proud of every individual involved in this monumental battle, and it has been an honor serving as the Chief Vawolence Officer for Naija Lives Matter side of things during this 2923 election cycle. We also offer No apologies for our passionate campaign for what we passionately believed in. It was what it was.


Acknowledging the fact that many individuals who joined NLM’s special Peter Obi Nation Project were primarily interested in supporting the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, and may not share NLM”s broader mandate and NGO charter, Dr. Banwo said that the organization would understand if those solely focused on partisan politics choose to disassociate themselves from the NLM organization across it numerous groups and threads, adding that the organizational continuity transcends any single election cycle.


“To be clear, this pivot by NLM does not mean we no longer support Peter Obi. We continue to stand behind his 2023 mandate which we believed in, wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, our organization was not established solely for this election cycle. We have followed the same refocusing approach after the elections in 2011 and 2015. Although the intensity of this cycle was undeniable, our policy remains intact.


“We hope that our fellow compatriots engaged in the highly intense campaign for 2023 will understand and respect our decision to shift away from combative partisan politics at this juncture. Instead, we aim to engage the Tinubu government in a non-partisan yet critical manner, reminding them of their promises and holding them accountable. Should the courts later remove him from office, we will also celebrate. But for now, we have a country to assist in governance.”

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