Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says he authorised two huge oil contracts awarded by the NNPC, taking responsibility for a presidential decision that had increasingly become embarrassing for the Buhari administration in the last few days.
The controversy stemmed from a statement by Maikanti Baru, head of the NNPC, explaining why he sidelined junior petroleum minister, Ibeh Kachikwu, in the deals.
Baru said the awards received presidential approvals at a time President Buhari was away in London for medical treatment, sparking media reports the decision might have been illegal since presidential powers had been transmitted to VP Osinbajo.
Amid the alarm, NNPC told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday the approval was given by Osinbajo as acting president.
The vice president’s office refused to confirm or deny the claim until Thursday noon.
A statement by vice presidential spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said Mr. Osinbajo approved the contracts in his capacity as acting president in July.
“In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence,” Akande said.