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Confusion reigns supreme as Zainab Ahmed counters Mamman on Amobi’s removal

Confusion reigns supreme as Zainab Ahmed counters Mamman on Amobi’s removal
June 16
08:45 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved letters containing different directives on how Marilyn Amobi, managing director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) would end her tenure.

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In a statement on Monday, Sale Mamman, the minister of power, announced that Nnaemeka Ewelukwa would succeed Amobi in office and directed that she proceed on terminal leave with immediate effect.

Mamman said he received approval from the president to appoint Ewelukwa, NBET general counsel and secretary, as the new MD.

“He 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 letter from the minister of power read.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the recommendation to this effect.”

However, a letter from the ministry of finance seen by TheCable, said the president has approved that Amobi is allowed to serve out her tenure which would end on July 24.

The letter which was dated June 15, the same date as Mamman’s, was attached to a June 8 memo signed by Ibrahim Gambari, the president’s chief of staff.

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Mamman and Ewelukwa were copied in the letter, signed by Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, permanent secretary at the ministry of finance.

“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.”

Given that approvals for both directives came from the president, it is unclear which would be effected although it is now certain that Ewelukwa would succeed Amobi.

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NBET was originally domiciled in the ministry of power, which empowers Mamman to perform oversight functions.

However, the president moved the agency to the ministry of finance, budget and national planning after Mamman tried to sack Amobi on December 24.

At the time, Mamman directed Amobi to step down amid allegations of fraud levelled against her and set up an investigative panel.

However, the president overruled his directive and reinstated Amobi.

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On May 7, the president also approved the reconstitution of the agency’s board; appointing Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, as chairman.

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