Power play is one of the many regular incidents native to the halls of power, whether it is in business, political governance or otherwise. Sometimes, these [in]auspicious events are merely the outcrops of a checkmated move. Other times, it is as natural as a disease vector pressed to retire from an ailing body. Such are the efforts of the Nigerian Federal Government to ensure a healthy and functioning national system.
This effort to sanitize the system of Nigeria comes in the form of the suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC (NBET), Marilyn Amobi. The suspension, which was to take immediate effect, was issued by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman on the eve of Christmas, December the 24.
Having invited Madam Amobi to retire the MD position to the most senior director in the organization, the Minister explained that the whole process was a strategic move to reorganize the sector, remove potholes and unfillable cavities and guarantee the continuity of smooth operations within the power industry.
Very interestingly, the very same Sale Mamman suspended the Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency, Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi, on similar grounds with the suspension of Madam Amobi. In this instance also, Ogunbiyi was directed to hand over to the next most senior officer in the agency.
A notable difference between the suspension processes of the former MDs is that a five-member investigative team was allegedly constituted and commissioned with the task of checking out the various complaints levelled against Amobi.
The most recent of these complaints – which has also received the most attention – has nine members of the Bulk Trader office arrested and detained for several hours by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Allegedly, Madam Amobi did not only allow this exercise to go on but also instigated it. Coincidentally, the most senior director to whom she is to hand over the MD seat was one of the detained nine.
More to the point of complaints against the former NBET MD, several powers – including the House of Representatives and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have already dipped their ladies in her stew.
Another incident laid at her feet involves the threat of the electricity generation companies (GENCos) to shut down power generation across the country over the controversial order by the NBET MD – an order that was not approved by her ministry head or the Federal Government.
Madam Marilyn Amobi, at this juncture, may be out of the power club, literally and figuratively.