SSS investigates Ruma, Aliero, Yakubu *Over contract awards, anti-government activities
Written by Taiwo Adisa
Thursday, April 8, 2010
A special panel specifically set up by the State Security Services (SSS) is said to have commenced investigations into the activities of, at least, two former ministers and a special adviser to ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua.
These ministers, it was learnt, were former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Senator Adamu Aliero, his counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr. Sayaddi Abba Ruma and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Tanimu Yakubu.
Sources confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune, on Wednesday, that while the three former government officials were not the only ones being investigated for certain offences considered as lapses while they were in office, a source said that they remained the high-profile targets because of the roles they played in government recently.
The trio were members of the so-called cabal around the ailing president.
It was gathered that government operatives had been reporting details of their movements to some agencies in the last one month and that some of the activities considered as divisive and unpalatable to the sitting government were documented.
A source said that the former ministers might have been linked with oil businesses and other financial activities while in office.
"There are some issues that call for questioning. It is not only the three persons that we are after. The government has mandated an agency to investigate the activities of recent office holders thoroughly to isolate acts considered as unpalatable to the stability of the nation," the source said.
It was also gathered that the trio were linked to the recent move to sell some oil blocks, which were stopped at the last minute by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.
Government sources said that some of those aggrieved about the stoppage of the oil wells are already being investigated over alleged attempts to harm Acting President Jonathan.
It was gathered that one of the reasons the acting president decided to post Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke to the Ministry of Petroleum was the need to ensure that the ministry is manned by somebody who will not easily compromise.
Sources said that reports from different agencies shortly after the stoppage of the sale of oil blocks in February indicated that some affected persons vowed to deal with the acting president.
It was, however, gathered that Jonathan had to cancel the sale when he discovered that the wells had been shared among some Nigerians and that the bidding round was being packaged to justify the allocation.
It was gathered that all those linked with the sale were being questioned as well.
"Besides the huge expenses and contracts awarded in the two ministries manned by the two ministers, which are already being looked into by the Ibrahim Bunu-led Committee on Project Assessment set up by the acting president, the security outfits are also coordinating some investigations. The government, however, does not want this blown of proportion so as not to paint a picture that some people are being hounded. It is a normal investigative process," a source said.