Reasons 3 dead persons are in board members list – Presidency

Late Senator Francis Okpozo

It has been discovered that among the new appointees into boards of some agencies of the federal government are persons who are dead.

The list of the appointees was released on Friday by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, on Friday.

In it are; Late Senator Francis Okpozo, who died in December 2016 at the age of 81, and on the occasion of his death, President Muhammadu Buhari sent condolence letter to his family.  Strangely, the deceased was appointed chairman of the Nigerian Press Council.

It also contained the names of Late Chief Donald Ugbaja, who died on the 29th of November, 2017 but  has been appointed a member of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), and that of Reverend Christopher Utov, who passed away in March 2017 but was now appointed member of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.

The list has sparked controversy over the apparent oversight with some enthusiasts laying into the federal government.

The onslaught has drawn the response from the presidency who acknowledged the error and explained the circumstances leading to it in a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Shehu said the list was long made precisely when Babachir Lawal was the SGF.

According to him,  “This list dates back to 2015. Then President told all state chapters of the APC to forward 50 names for appointments to the SGF through the national headquarters of the party.

“The then SGF, Babachir Lawal, presented the list in October 2016 but was disputed by state governors who said they made no contribution to the list and wanted it review.

“So, the President constituted a new panel headed by the Vice President with some governors and some leaders of the party as members to review it.

“The panel turned in its report early in 2017 but then the President was sick.

“Now that he is back and strong, he asked the SGF to go and release the list. So the new SGF did what he was asked to do. There is nothing scandalous or extraordinary about what has happened.”

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