The activities of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo while in charge of TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni have come under scrutiny with the Office of the Auditor General launching an investigation into it by way of auditing.
The trio, which are social intervention programmes in Bank of Industry, BOI, were under the supervision of the office of Prof. Osinbajo, until October 2019 when President Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence Day speech announced their relocation to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development headed by Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq.
While it lasted, Osinbajo was the poster boy for the free interest and unsecured loan programmes and ahead of the general election he became synonymous with them, particularly the TraderMoni that saw him visiting some markets across the country to monitor the scheme.
Mixed reactions trailed the VP’s activities which were hailed in some quarters while members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, hurled insults at him, accusing him of vote-buying and inducing the electorate.
But the “cup” connected to his time as the programmes’ supervisor has not “passed” from the number two citizen.
The Office of the Auditor General of the Federation is looking into the books at BOI, pertaining to all that transpired while the VP was in the saddle, OrijoReporter was told.
According to source, the official position was that the on-going auditing would enable the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development to start afresh.
The position, however, didn’t get wide currency. An undercurrent opinion discussed in hush tone among the bank’s staff, is that its’ aim was to get at Osinbajo.
“The almighty cabal in the presidency are hiding behind a smokescreen of auditing to humiliate Osinbajo, knowing fully well that there was no way the rule would be run over what happened under his watch without stumbling on skeleton either in his cupboard or that of people directly or remotely linked to him.
“Their real intention was to uncover any infraction by the VP while in charge of TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni with the view to make political capital out of any scandal arising from it come 2023,” sources told us.
Osinbajo and the cabal are long said to have a frosty relationship, which became pronounced while he was the Acting President when President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical leave between May 2017 and 2018.
During that period, Osinbajo in alleged complete disregard for the cabal’s position, which was to maintain the status quo, fired the then Director General of the State Security Service, Lawal Daura, over the invasion of the National Assembly by some men of the secret agency.
He also made some appointments like that of Alex Okoh, the DG of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, and BOI’s MD, Kayode Pitan, much to the anger of some Northern elements, who went on to throw brickbats at him openly.
“Contrary to the widely held belief that Vice President Osinbajo, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and a Professor of Law is above board, a forensic analysis of his activities since he assumed office reveals that the VP has consistently abused his office, negating the principles of Federal Character and has systematically favoured members of the Redeemed Church and his Yoruba tribe,” one Dr Ibrahim Farouk, who was believed to be doing the cabal’s bidding had said in a statement that made the headlines in June 2017.
In 2016, the VP allegedly influenced the appointments of Toyin Adeniji and Simeon Aranonu, both who like him are pastors at Redeemed Church as BOI’s Executive Directors, Micro Credit Programmes and Large Enterprise respectively.
Adeniji and Aranonu’ tenures and that of Tobin Jonathan, the ED, Corporate Services, a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on the board of BOI will all come to an end this year. While that of Aranonu’s will expire in March, Adeniji’s due date is February.
Sources hinted that the appointment of Ebehiriere Omoike, who herself is a Redeemer, as BIO’s Deputy General Manager, Oil & Gas, by Pitan, is causing disquiet among some staff of the bank, who allegedly felt horribly cheated.
“The fact that the MD passed over some senior staff, who were eminently qualified to assume the office and brought another member of their church piqued a whole lot of people in the bank,” the paper was told.