Raila calls for resignation of CSs Davis Chirchir, Njuguna Ndung’u over G-G oil deal
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now wants Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir and his Treasury counterpart Njuguna Ndung'u to resign amid concerns over government-to-government oil supply contract signed in March this year.
Speaking to members of the press on Monday, November 20, the opposition chief maintained that the oil deal was fraudulent and one hatched to illegally withdraw money from the exchequer to pay shady private firms.
Raila, who first addressed the deal last Thursday, claimed that part of the money was used to finance businesswoman Ann Njeri Njoroge in a contentious Ksh17 billion fuel deal that hit the headlines recently. The claims were first made by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
"He (Omtatah) was able to establish a link between the Ksh17,224,718,632 which was unconstitutionally withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund in June 2023 to subsidize unnamed private financial enterprises and the Ksh17 billion contested oil shipment between Ms. Njeri and the two Cabinet Secretaries," Raila said.
"I concur with the senator’s suspicion that Njeri is the ‘private financial enterprises’ funded by the Ksh17,224,718,632 illegally from the Consolidated Fund and received by the Ministry of Petroleum."
The former prime minister said the two CS had committed criminal offences and should not only resign but also be prosecuted.
"The CS for Energy and Petroleum Chirichir and National Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu have certainly committed criminal offenses, abused office and gone against the constitution. They stole money from the Consolidated Fund, in addition to spend monies way above what Parliament approved. They must not only resign. They must also be prosecuted," he added.
The opposition supremo further dismissed President William Ruto's claims that the fuel deal was transparent.
Raila, while accusing the Legislature of state capture, maintained that only documentary evidence would shed light on the alleged scandal.
"The oil firms, the National Assembly majority leadership and CS Davis Chirchir have talked of there being a G-to-G memorandum of understanding in this oil deal. Once again, I am asking that the documents be shared with the public.
"These must be documents signed by a representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Kenya, not that of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and ADNOC Global Trading Ltd or Emirates National Oil Company," Raila stated.
He added: "Show us documents indicating when the payment was made in Kenya shillings, the bank accounts and the recipients of the payment. This regime has told Kenyans so many fictitious stories that only documentary evidence will help the country separate fact from fiction."
The Azimio leader questioned why the National Oil Corporation was left out in the signing of the deal.
"Kenyans will have noticed that even as our Ministry of Energy and Petroleum was signing deals with state-owned corporations in the Middle East, our own National Oil Corporation is completely left out. NOC has a legal mandate to participate in all aspects of the petroleum industry and is wholly owned by the Government of Kenya through a joint ownership by the Ministry responsible for the petroleum function. How does Chirchir explain the exclusion of this corporation in favour of private, shady firms?" Raila posed.
"In subsequent comments on this matter since last Thursday, I have questioned why the Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority Mr. Daniel Kiptoo could go to the Middle East, participate in the oil negotiation, and then come back to Nairobi to regulate prices. How can EPRA be a player and referee at the same time? Where is the ethics and professionalism in this? How can this be a compliance with the Public Officer Ethics Act? We are still waiting for answers."
He invited the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, office of the Auditor General and the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) to swing into action and probe the contentious oil deal.
Raila wants EACC to thoroughly conduct investigations into alleged conflict of interests by government officials in the alleged G-to-G arrangement, bribery and corrupt commissions and kick-backs from revenues raised and criminal collusion through price fixing and other corrupt trade practices in the deal and violation of procurement laws in the recruitment of suppliers and their local agencies.