Missing billions! Abba Moro! They jumped the fence! | These are the top 10 scandals of 2014

by Wilfred Okiche


What a year!

Some of the 10 stories that made up this list were tragic and demand our collective sober reflection while some just made us laugh out loud. Either way, we recall 2014’s most scandalous moments.

Grab a seat.

10) Wizkid’s groupie has a story to tell. And it involves lots of sex

Another superstar got his back burnt when a groupie made their private business public. This time, pop star Wizkid was at the receiving end when a female companion dished out details of their bedroom exploits, sharing pictures of his tattoos and wristwatch just to avoid any doubts. She also had a few words for Wizkid’s partner, Tania Omotayo, urging her to accept their sexual romps as she is here to stay.

9) Soldiers go on rampage in Lagos

It was not a particularly good year for the Nigerian military. From reports of mutinies, tactical manoeuvres and spousal protests, to those of court marshals, troops depletion and thieving generals, the news was sad most of the time. But it was the July 4 incidence in Ikorodu road Lagos when men in uniform went on a deranged rampage, burning BRT buses and harassing innocent bystanders allegedly over the loss of one of their colleagues that places them on this list.

8) It’s Diezani again!

When it comes to this woman, there is no lack of scandalous moments. Indeed we have come to expect them by the number. This year, she was quite up to her neck as usual, in scandal. As minister for petroleum, she was completely drenched in the putrid pile that was the kerosene subsidy charade and then there was the matter of the 10 billion Naira spent to charter and maintain a private jet for her personal and official use. Of course she refused to attend those troublesome legislative summons and blocked any investigation into the scandal.

7) Money laundering to South Africa                                                                  

In one of the most bizarre happenings to occur this year, Nigerians were jolted with news of the seizure of a private jet, a Bombardier Challenger 600, with registration number 808HG as it landed at Lanseria international airport, Johannesburg in September. Passengers on the flight from Abuja were 2 yet to be identified Nigerian nationals, as well as an Israeli citizen attempting to enter South Africa with the sum of $9.3million dollars in cash, loaded in 3 suitcases. They were promptly detained by South African customs officials and our government’s explanation of attempting to purchase back door arms for security purposes was less than underwhelming;

6) Pastors Chris and Anita Oyakhilome call it quits

This should have been a private, civil affair but for some reason, the charade that was the public marriage of mega pastor Chris Oyakhilome, founder of the Believers LoveWorld Incorporated and his beautiful wife Anita evaporated when she filed for divorce citing unreasonable behaviour and adultery. The fashion forward pastor made things worse while addressing his loyal members, asking them to pray for reverend Anita, and hinting ever so subtly that she isn’t exactly a woman of God and so wasn’t at the same level of grace that he is presently floating on.

5) Minority is the new majority in Ekiti state

The lawmakers in Ekiti took the term ridiculous to unprecedented heights when 7 “lawmakers” belonging to the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared that they had impeached the speaker of the state house of assembly, Adewale Omirin. This incredulousness was worsened when Governor Ayo Fayose publicly identified with the illegal faction and even deployed security details to protect their meetings.

4) TB Joshua’s house of cards collapses                                                                  

When the multi storey complex belonging to the Synagogue Church of all Nations collapsed in Ikotun, a Lagos suburb, the increasing body count was just the first part of the tragedy. Members of the church resisted initial rescue attempts and prevented journalists who were among first responders to do their jobs. Founder, TB Joshua was recorded on tape attempting to influence journalistic reportage of events and then went on an insensitive defensive, trying to blame supernatural events for the tragedy, even when the human errors were glaring.

3) Missing 20 billion Naira + Kerosene subsidy fraud

A recurring decimal in the GEJ administration has been the brazen looting of public funds which are eventually declared “missing” by the press. This year, Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was suspended from his perch atop the Central Bank when he dared accuse the NNPC of failing to remit certain monies to the federation account. Till today, the audit committee tasked to make sense of the NNPC’s infamous opacity is yet to submit their report. There was also the case of the fraudulent subsidies allegedly being paid on kerosene even when no one can remember when last they bought a litre of kerosene for less than 150 Naira.

2) House of Representatives members jumping the fence to “save our democracy”.

The first House of Representatives seating since speaker Aminu Tambuwal’s defection from the ruling PDP to the opposition APC was always going to be rowdy one. But no one could have envisaged the mega drama that ensued at the House of Representatives when police men stormed the gates of the NASS complex and prevented the pro-Tambuwal legislators from getting into the building. To the utter dismay of everyone watching, the honourable members began to jump the fence and promptly smuggled the embattled speaker in.

  • The NIS recruitment tragedy

The Nigeria Immigration Service called for applications to fill in certain vacant positions and collected 1000 Naira from the about 700,000 Nigerians who applied but failed to make proper preparations for the interview day. Inadequate examination materials, lack of seating arrangements and an unforgivable lack of real organisation led to stampedes in the various stadia that resulted in the deaths of about 17 people. More tragically, The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro at some point heaped the blame on the dead people.

The writer tweets from @drwill20

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