Board chairmen appointments: Numbers of ‘dead’ men in Buhari’s list rises to three


President Muhammadu Buhari has allegedly appointed three dead men in his year-end appointments to federal boards and parastatals.

Three men, Rev Christopher Utov, Chief Donald Ugbaja and second republic senator, Francis Okpozo.

Of the three men, the presidency is actually aware of the death of Okpozo as it mourned his demise which happened in 2016.

In a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, Buhari said he commiserates with “the family and friends of the late senator, whose championing of social justice in the Niger Delta, during his long history of service to the people, endeared him to many”.

He added that he hopes that “all who mourn Senator Okpozo will carry forward his legacy of unwavering dedication to the unity of Nigeria, even as the nation would fondly remember his contributions to peace, development and justice in the Niger Delta”.

Utov, who died in March of this year, was appointed as a member of Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research and Ugbaja as a member of the Consumer Protection Council. Ugbaja died November 29, 2017.

The three deaths happened far from each other and it cannot be argued that time caused the errors. From a death that occurred as far back as March last year to one that occurred less than four weeks ago.

This gaffe by the president has put a larger question mark on the anti-corruption crusade it claims in light of the Senate investigation into allegations that fuel subsidy was given without approval by the National Assembly.

The appointees’ list also has names duplicated on different boards as members.

For one, Kabiru Matazu was appointed the chairman of both the FCT Universal Education Board and the board of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.

Also duplicated was the name Habiba Umar who was appointed to the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Yola and the one in Birnin-Kebbi.

Sabo Nanono was appointed a chairman of the board of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and also a member of the board of the National Agency for Science and Engineering (NASENI).

Umaymah Abdullahi was named on the board of Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri as well as the Federal Medical Centre, Sokoto.