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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest batch of appointments has stoked controversy after it was detected that a number of dead persons had been ‘given’ positions as board members.
A list of over 1,460 people was released Friday evening but careful scrutiny by the media revealed duplications and names of deceased persons and others who were not in the ruling party. Initially, only about two persons were confirmed dead in the list of appointees. Further checks have revealed at least seven dead persons at the time of filing this report.
One of the appointees, Senator Francis Okpozo died as an octogenerian on December 26, 2016. President Buhari issued a statement of condolence on December 27, 2016.
Six other deceased persons were named in the list, one to the board of the Consumer Protection Council and the other to the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Chief Donald Ugbaja, who died in November 2017, was named to the Consumer Protection Council.
Reverend Father Chris Utov, the proprietor of Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko passed away on March 17, 2017, was named to the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Magdalene Kumu, was appointed a member, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). She was from Taraba State. According to CKN Nigeria, Kumu is late.
Three other dead person identified in the list are Garba Attahiru, appointed to chair the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa and hailed from Kaduna State; Umar Dange, appointed to the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta and hailed from Sokoto State.
Also in the dead-men’s list is Dr. Nabbs Imegwu, a former commissioner for culture and tourism in Rivers State, he was appointed to the board of the National Orthopedic Hospitals.
But presidential spokesperson Mallam Garba Shehu has downplayed the controversy, calling it a storm in a tea cup. According to Mallam Shehu, there was nothing scandalous about the list, which he insists was valid at the time it was compiled.