The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has reportedly begun a clampdown on some of its officials for allegedly leaking internal documents to the public.
It was gathered that the DPR suspended three of its staff in February for allegedly leaking internal communications of the energy sector regulator.
Recall that the PeoplesGazette had how officials of President Muhammadu Buhari were favoured with lucrative positions at the department.
A letter obtained by PeoplesGazette, dated February 23, 2021, conveyed the directive of DPR’s chief executive to indefinitely suspend the accused personnel pending the conclusion of an internal probe on the matter.
Obianuju Akwunwa of the DPR’s public affairs unit, and another staff member identified as Moedu B.O., were suspended by the oil and gas regulatory body.
A third official, identified as S.H. Hussaini, deputy manager, personnel information, promotion and discipline, was also suspended, days after he signed the suspension letter of Ms. Akwunwa.
Justifying the trio’s suspension, DPR’s management said Bashir Ahmad – a personal assistant to Buhari – and others’ plum jobs, especially the appointment letter, could never have come out but for the alleged role played by the suspended officials.
The DPR official also said the management had been able to trace the PDF employment letter obtained by Gazette to one of the agency’s computers.
“They said the file was downloaded from one of their computers and it should be one of them who did it,” the official said under anonymity to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Recall that the online newspaper had revealed that President Buhari reportedly appointed his personal assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, to supervise a top division at the DPR.
Ahmad, 29, recently hustled his way in as the head of the newly-established National Production Monitoring System (NPMS) of DPR – four officials at the presidency and DPR told PeoplesGazette.
“Bashir got the appointment early January, but his documentation took place last week,” a State House official familiar with the appointment said. “It was delayed following the death of one of his friends, Jamilu Ibrahim Shinkafi, in an accident along Bauchi-Nasarawa Road, precisely in Akwanga in Nasarawa.”
The fatal auto crash was said to have occurred whilst the deceased was returning from the wedding of Ibrahim Rabo, an aide to communications minister Isa Pantami on January 31.
“It was the wedding that Bashir was seen amongst those not on face masks,” the official said. “So they deferred the conclusion of his documentation by a week before it was finally concluded last week.
It was reported that Buhari also appointed Gambo Manzo, Abubakar Barde and Abba Dansarari who are currently serving as aides on political affairs and social investment programmes at the State House into the DPR in January.
While Jamil Sadauki, a youth leader in the APC, also got a position at the DPR at the same time as other aides of the president.
But Ahmad in his reaction via a statement on his Twitter account, debunked the news, describing it as totally false.
“A friend sent me a link to a concocted story from an online news blog that the President has quietly appointed me as a manager of the DPR, a department of Ministry of Petroleum Resources, for those who want to know the truth, the story is 100% FALSE. I am not a staff of the DPR,” he wrote.