Buhari appoints dead police chief, priest board members

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    Controversy has trailed the massive, historical appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

    Buhari with osibajoThe office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, late on Friday announced the appointment of 209 board chairpersons and 1,258 board members.

    This was the largest single appointments made by the president since assuming office in 2015.

    President Muhammadu Buhari had in his October 1 Independence Day speech announced that the long-awaited appointments would be made soon.

    A scrutiny of the names, however, shows that at least three of them might be those of people who died after Mr. Buhari was sworn in as president on May 29, 2015.

    About four other names are duplicated in more than one agency while some opposition politicians also got appointed.

    ‘DEAD PERSONS’

    Francis Okpozo, believed to be the second republic senator that died in 2016, was appointed chairman of the Nigerian Press Council.

    The late ex-senator battled with an undisclosed ailment at a private hospital in Benin.

    Coincidentally, when the ex-senator died, the president in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, commiserated 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.”

    Until his death, he was a chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State.

    Neither the presidency nor the SGF, Boss Mustapha, was able to clarify on Saturday morning that the Mr. Okpozo appointed to the NPC board is different from the late former senator. They were also not able to clarify the other controversial appointments.

    Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, simply referred PREMIUM TIMES to Mr. Mustapha’s office.

    “Contact the SGF office, he is the person handling it,” he said.

    An aide to the SGF, however, said he was on holiday and could only speak upon resumption on Wednesday.

    Another controversial appointee is Donald Ugbaja, who is believed to be a late former deputy inspector general of police.

    The former police chief died a few weeks ago.

    Mr. Ugbaja was appointed a board member of the Consumer Protection Council.