There's confusion in Aso Rock as President Muhammadu Buhari approved two different letters requesting for the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Marilyn Amobi, to be sacked and not be sacked. The Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman had taken different sides and solicited for the approval of President Buhari.
While Mamman had demanded that Amobi be relieved of her duties as NBET boss with immediate effect, Ahmed had written that Amobi shouldn't be sacked, requesting for her to continue with her tenure until July 24, 2020, when it is expected to end. In a surprise move, President Buhari approved both letters.
Mamman And Ahmed Exercise Power In Aso Rock
Mamman had been demanding for Amobi's sack before now. He had attempted to sack her last year December on grounds of fraud allegations, setting up a panel to investigate the fraud claim, but President Buhari reinstated Amobi, overruling Mamman's decision. The Minister of Power again sacked her some hours again, ordering Amobi to handover to Nnaemeka Ewelukwa.
Mamman claimed President Buhari had approved the decision, stating that Ewelukwa “is to succeed Marilyn Amobi, as substantive managing director/CEO, while the former MD is to handover and proceed on terminal leave with immediate effect,” the June 15 letter from Mamman read, adding that, “President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the recommendation to this effect.”
But the Finance Minister countered the directive, as it was stated in a letter that President Buhari had also approved that Amobi completes her tenure. Ahmed's letter was dated June 15, 2020, the same date as that of the Minister of Power, The Cable reported. It was revealed that it was attached to a June 8 memo signed by the president’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.
Also, Mamman and Ewelukwa were copied in the letter, signed by the Permanent Secretary at the Finance Ministry, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, “The president has approved that you serve out your tenure at the completion of which you should hand over to Nnaemeka Ewelukwa who is to take over from you as the MD/CEO. Your appointment which took effect from July 25, 2016, for four years is to end on July 24, 2020,” the letter from the ministry of finance read.
“Your handover notes should be copied to the honourable minister of power and the honourable minister of finance, budget and national planning.” The Finance Minister letter reads.
Confusion Over Which Letter To Execute
With President Buhari reportedly signing both letters from Mamman and Ahmed, it is unsure which letter to execute, leaving the officials at crossroads. It is not known why the President proceeded in approving the content of both letters, however, with NBET now under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance, Ahmed's authority might hold sway.
NBET was initially under the Ministry of Power, but the organisation was taken away from the Ministry of Power during the first face-off between Mamman and Amobi. But one thing is clear, both Ahmed and Mamman want Nnaemeka Ewelukwa to takeover as the MD/CEO of NBET.