by Wilfred Okiche
Another year, another bevy of scandals and 2012 was no different. Whether it was the back and forth between a certain billionaire business man and a honorable member of the house or the endlessly shameful Ibori affair finally put to rest, there was more than enough to keep us entertained. Or scandalized.
We present the top 12 cringe worthy moments of the year. In no particular order.
Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim resigns
Resigned, sacked, eased out? Call it whatever but the year in scandals began early enough with the removal of former Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force, Hafiz Ringim and six of his DIGs. This was not unrelated to the 24-hour ultimatum which was handed to him by the presidency to find Kabiru Umar, a Boko Haram suspect who escaped from police custody. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar was appointed in his stead.
The Ibori saga comes to an end?
After a federal high court sitting in Asaba, Delta state discharged and acquitted former governor of the state and all-round poster boy for corruption, James Onanefe Ibori of 170 charges of corruption filed against him by the EFCC, it was sweet revenge for Nigerians to witness the former governor plead guilty to a UK court to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
The trial was not without drama as his Ibori’s defense counsel invited former English Premier league player, John Fashanu to testify on his behalf. Ibori was finally sentenced to 13years in prison with numerous assets worth billions of Naira confiscated.
Fashola blasts Patience Jonathan
The Action Congress of Nigeria, political home to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state has never hidden it’s disdain for the PDP but it still came as a surprise to us when the SAN expressed his displeasure with the first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her ‘Peace Advocacy tour’ for their role in the massive traffic jam experienced by commuters on 12, April 2012. He warned, ‘’There is the need for public officers generally to be more sensitive to the people we serve.’’ We love the governor for this but suggest he attempts practicing what he preaches.
David Oyedepo’s ‘cynical exploitation’
What is it with our men of God and scandals? An Ogun state High Court sitting in Sango Ota may have dismissed a N2billion fundamental human right suit filed against the founder and president of the Living Faith Christian Church International, David Oyedepo over allegations that he slapped a female member of his congregation but British newspaper Daily Mail on Sunday in a revealing expose accused the Pastopreneur of exploiting British worshippers. The investigations revealed that congregants are given a payment slip requesting cheque, cash or debit cards when they join.
Subsidy probe report released
After the botched fuel subsidy removal policy and the national awakening it birthed, the House of representatives took the bull by the horns and set up an Ad-hoc committee headed by a certain Farouk Lawan to investigate implementation of the country’s subsidy regime. The report of the very public probe was released and the details aren’t pretty.
The committee recommended the sum of N1,O67,040,456,171.31 be refunded to the federation account by the NNPC, PPRA and indicted companies. It also established that over N2trillion was made as subsidy payment as at 31, December 2011, more than 900 per cent over the appropriated sum of N245 billion.
Farouk and Otedola bribery scandal
The year’s messiest scandal came in the form of what has now been dubbed #Faroukgate. Following the Farouk Lawan-headed committee probe report, Business man and chairman of Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola apparently staged a sting operation with help from the SSS to nail Hon Farouk Lawan during the course of his committee’s investigation. In a damning $3billion bribery scandal, the lawmaker was accused of striking out Otedola’s company from the list of indicted marketers. After multiple denials and leaked audio conversations, Lawan would later admit collecting $620,000.The whole drama came to a climax though with the House committee on ethics exonerating the pint-sized lawmaker.
Pastor Chris Okotie divorces wife number 2
After 4 years of marriage, musician-turned-pastor-turned-serial presidential aspirant announced his split from Stephanie Henshaw, the pretty lady who became his second wife. Citing irreconcilable differences, the general overseer of House hold of God ministry has reportedly promised to tie the knot once more in the near future.
Diplomatic row: Nigeria vs Ghana vs South Africa vs Zambia
2012 is the year Nigeria was embroiled in near-diplomatic rows with fellow African countries over travel permission. It all began in March when South Africa deported 125 Nigerians, including a Senator from Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo international airport on the grounds of possessing fake Yellow fever vaccination cards. Nigerian officials cried foul and cited xenophobia. Soon it was Ghana’s turn as some travelers reported being forced to get Ghana’s Yellow fever cards at an extra cost as the Nigerian cards were deemed fake.
Things got worse though as Zambia also excluded Nigeria from countries that do not require visa to enter the country. Some Nigerian journos found out the hard way while attempting to attend the CNNMultiChoice media awards held in Lusaka. What
Zaaki Azzay’s 8yr marriage ends, wife claims years of battery
Torch bearing folk singer Zaaki Azzay hasn’t had a hit in years. It seems all he has been hitting is poor wife of 8years, Hadiza. That is according to her. She revealed to blogger Linda Ikeji that the singer was fond of beating her over minor disagreements and sometimes up till she lost consciousness. She left with two of her 3 children and declared that there was no going back this time.
Obi Asika’s Storm 360 sacks Olisa Adibua
Popular OAP and events anchor, Olisa Adibua was on this list last year after beating up a colleague at the Beat FM premises. He makes a grand return this year following his sack from the entertainment company, Storm 360 and falling out with it’s head, Obi Asika. A press statement from the company read, ‘’Mr Olisa Adibua is no longer a director of the company. This decision was reached at a properly constituted EGM. Mr Adibua was a non-executive director of Storm 360 and has never been involved in the management and operations.’’
No homo: Nigerian court sentences actor to 3months in jail
Now what would a scandal list be like without Nollywood? Or is it vice versa? The first major implications of the controversial bill prohibiting same sex marriage and public displays of affection played out in September when Bestwood Chukwuemeka, an upcoming 28year old actor was sentenced to 3-months in jail by a Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja for having anal sex with another man. Mr Chukwuemeka according to Premium Times, pleaded guilty and claimed to be under the influence of alcohol. We are still speechless.
Former IG of Police Sunday Ehindero remanded in Kuje prisons for embezzling
What starts with one former IGP ends with another. Following his failure to meet bail applications set by an Abuja High Court Judge in September, former Police Inspector General, Sunday Ehindero was remanded at Kuje prisons. Mr Ehindero is being prosecuted by the ICPC for allegedly helping himself to N16million meant for the force while in office.
Did we leave out any? Kindly let us know.
Wilfred Okiche tweets @drwill20