• Demands probe of N1.4 trillion
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of operating a corruption-infested fuel subsidy regime.
The party challenged the president to submit himself for an independent inquest on the handling of the N1.4 trillion oil subsidy regime as well as the alleged complicity of his presidency in other exposed financial impropriety by cronies of his government, particularly in revenue collecting agencies.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said such inquest, which is already backed by state governors across board, will not only expose humongous corruption but also show the world that our African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption champion had not been totally spotless.
“We invite Nigerians to note that the demand by governors to probe all subsidy deals since 2015 is a direct indictment on President Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum, particularly, following allegations that the stolen funds are being warehoused to fund his 2019 re-election bid and the opulent lifestyle in the Presidential Villa.
“The party notes that if President Buhari allowed the inquest, it will reveal how our president, who had queried the genuineness of the oil subsidy payments by PDP administration and described the process as a fraud, had secretly engaged in underhand oil subsidy deals.
“Nigerians will also understand how the cost of fuel geometrically rose from the PDP subsidised cost of N87 to N145, representing a criminal N58 tax, per liter of fuel.
PDP said that it took over two years of secret oil subsidy deals under President Buhari, before it was exposed last December.
According to the opposition party, the presidency and the NNPC had since then been seeking ways to cover the fraud which included claims that local consumption suddenly jumped from 28 million liters per day to 60 liters per day.
“PDP considers this as a fabrication to retire the billions being stolen as subsidy, even when statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics and the reality of the retarded purchasing power of citizens, under the prevailing economic recession, do not validate such claims.
“Nigerians therefore deserve to know who authorised the payments and the identity of the beneficiary companies, if any.
“The PDP is happy that state governors across board and the National Assembly are on the same page with our party in condemning the humongous fraud going on under President Buhari’s fuel subsidy.
“The PDP therefore demands that the inquest covers the alleged N15 billion stolen from the NHIS, the N18 billion stolen from the PINE initiative, the alleged leaked memo of N9 trillion corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC, the reported diversion of N1.1trillion worth of crude last year and why indicted Presidential cronies and fronts have not been prosecuted,” it added.