President Goodluck Jonathan has announced the appointment of Chairman Daar Communications PLC, operators of African Independent Television, AIT, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, as the new Chief Of Staff.
Dokpesi replaces Mike Oghiadomen, who also resigned on Monday.
Both Dokpesi and Oghiadome hail from Edo State.
It is believed that the appointment of Dokpesi like most others made in recent times by President Goodluck Jonathan is targeted at smoothing the way for Jonathan’s re-election.
Dokpesi connections in the media, political and business circles are expected to come in handy as Jonathan seeks to burnish his heavily buffeted image ahead of the 2015 election .
Dokpesi was appointed as the Director General of Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Organization in 2010 in the build up to the 2011 presidential election before the former head of state withdrew
Meanwhile, the Presidency has debunked the media reports on Monday that Oghiadomeh was forced to resign over his alleged involvement in the $20b NNPC scam.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, in an interview with State House correspondents on Monday, said that Oghiadomeh resigned to pursue his political ambition.
The presidential spokesman described the speculation as “callous and unreasonable”, saying the chief of staff had, in his resignation letter, said he wished to pursue “other political necessities”.
According to him, the president had already asked any ministers or other political appointees who have political ambitions to quit.
Abati noted that Jonathan appreciated Oghiadomeh’s diligent contributions.
He said: “Nothing extensive to say other than to confirm that the Chief of Staff has resigned his appointment, and it has nothing to do with the speculation that one online has tried to put out. The president received the letter today which is titled “Letter of Resignation” and it (the letter) says he wishes to pursue other political necessities in our great party.
“You would recall that about two weeks ago before the president travelled to Ethiopia, he announced in council that if there was any member of the cabinet or any major political appointee who wants to pursue some other political roles; that he had been hearing rumours that some people maybe wanted to go and pursue other things in whatever capacity, that such people are going to be engaged heavily in political activities, they should let him know; and if they see that they’re going to be really busy, and such activities may occupy their time extraordinarily, they should please step aside or come and see him for discussion.
“That, you can confirm. It happened in the open floor of the council. And you can see what I’ve pointed out as the reason for the chief of staff’s resignation is in line with that. So, we find the speculation, particularly by some of the online platforms, callous, completely unreasonable considering that this is a man who has served and given time and energy to the pursuit of the good interest of our country. Mr President appreciates his contributions and he would like to put on record that indeed, he was a man who discharged his responsibilities diligently and the country is very grateful to him and the president personally would like to wish him well in his future endeavours”.
However, a report in an online news portal say the Edo born politician was sacked for alleged involvement in various fruads.
Osun Defender reported that that a huge dossier prepared on the activities of the erstwhile Chief of Staff of the President an extensive corruption profile.
According to the report, Oghiadomhe’s bag of tricks includes Kerosene subsidy fraud at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the magnitude of millions of dollars with a controversial businessman, Jide Omokore, owner of oil companies Atlantic Energy Limited and Seven Energy.
Both companies are at the center of the $6 billion fraud cited by the Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in his recent revelation to the Nigeria Senate that the NNPC has not been able to account for $20 billion of the $67 billion worth of oil it lifted between 2012 and 2013.
Jonathan reportedly asked. Oghiadomhe to resign after security agencies revealed his deep involvement, first, in a Rice waiver scam used to fund Mr. Jonathan’s Presidential Election in 2011; the security reports traced billions of naira to the duo, showing that they did not declare or remit a greater portion of the “profit” from the Rice waiver to the Jonathan campaign.
In recent days, it also emerged that Mr. Omokore and Oghiadome benefited immensely from the N1 billion-naira-a-day Kerosene subsidy fraud.
Last week Tuesday, Omokore sent his wife, Angela, to meet with President Jonathan in order to explain that her husband did not partake in the fraud, but Mr. Jonathan appeared unconvinced as the CBN governor buffeted the nation with further revelation of massive fraud in the petroleum sector. Angela Omokore is Oghiadome’s goddaughter.
Also, Nigeria’s Petroleum minister Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke reportedly washed her hands off the fraud case claiming that Oghiadome and Omokore shortchanged Nigerians in the deals.
When the former Chief of Staff showed up for work at the Presidential Villa in Abuja this morning he was told to submit his resignation letter. After complying, he returned to his residence.
Oghiadomhe, the report added, was not subjected to any questioning or surveillance, leaving him free to do as he pleases with his time and resources.
In order to fend off inquiries, presidential spokesperson Reuben Abati told some reporters today that Mr. Oghiadomhe “voluntarily resigned” to pursue political ambition even though the Edo governorship election which he is eyeing will not hold in 2015 untill 2017. The truth behind Oghiadomhe’s sudden resignation despite efforts by the presidency to conceal the embarrassing scandal is gradually becoming public knowledge. Is Jonathan’s government a government that fights corruption or one that protects close officials and cronies that glaringly involved in huge economic sabotage through all manner of economic crimes and abuse of office?
Content Credit: Naija247