#YNaija2016Review: Budget padding, thieving judges, Tiwa starts to talk… See the Top 10 Scandals of 2016

All the world loves a good scandal. This year these were the biggest of the best. From the cringe worthy to the outright depressing, these are 2016’s infamous 10.

10. Was #SaveMayowa a scam or not?
The whole country rallied on social media for Mayowa Ahmed, a 31 year old citizen battling with ovarian cancer. A gofundme campaign was kick started to raise the $100,000 (32million Naira) required to help Mayowa get treatment abroad but no sooner had the complete amount been raised than Nollywood actress Toyin Aimakhu who added support to the campaign accuse Ahmed’s family via Linda Ikeji’s blog of seeking to fleece Nigerians. After police intervention and some furious back and forth, Ikeji apologised but alas, Mayowa passed away in August.

9. Tiwa Savage starts to talk
The domestic scandal of the year played out live on social media and in Youtube videos. Tunji ‘Teebillz’ Balogun, estranged husband of pop diva Tiwa Savage took to Instagram to detail news of the collapse of his 2 years old marriage to Savage. He accused her of being a terrible and faithless wife and her clap back, in the form of a long form tell all with This Day’s Azuka Ogujiuba was epic, as she aired all the dirty laundry.

8. Solomon Arase must love cars
The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris accused his predecessor, Solomon Arase of going away with 24 police vehicles while retiring from office. According to Idris, 7 Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, who retired alongside Arase also carted away between seven and eight cars each. Arase denied committing such an act but the special investigating panel set up to probe the matter appears to have identified and recovered 19 vehicles from the former IGP.

solomon-arase
Solomon Arase

7. Mr. President, why you too dey copy-copy?
The supreme irony of President Buhari reading a plagiarised speech at the launch of a poorly conceived campaign to demand honesty and integrity from the people is one that did not go unnoticed. In September it was observed that parts of Buhari’s speech at the launch of Lai Mohammed’s latest gift to the nation were lifted directly from President Obama’s 2008 victory speech after he was elected in a historic election.

6. Saraki’s (no) trial
The Senate President Bukola Saraki is no stranger to scandal but like the cat with nine lives, he manages to rise above every single one. He spent most of 2016 fighting political battles from all fronts, not the least of which was the criminal conspiracy lawsuit filed by the federal government relating to the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Orders, 2015. The suit was withdrawn this October but that doesn’t mean that Saraki did not foul up the office of the Senate Presidency.

bukola-saraki

5. Buratai can save for Africa
Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai found himself in the eye of the storm when it was revealed that he and his wives were owners of properties in Dubai valued at about $1.5 million. In his defence, Buratai claimed the choice homes were acquired legitimately with savings and the Code of Conduct Bureau gave him an all clear, even when Buratai was the army’s director of procurement for a long period.

4. Temitope Aluko sings like a canary
On live television with Channels TV’s Seun Okin, Temitope Aluko, a former secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti state turned against his former ally Governor Ayo Fayose and proceeded to give a blow by blow account of how the 2014 gubernatorial election was rigged in Fayose’s favour. Aluko did not stop there. He implicated the likes of Chris Uba, Musiliu Obanikoro and Iyiola Omisore. The sight was as ugly as it was dirty. Shame Aluko wasn’t arrested soon after.

3. NACA gate
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, GFATM, an international financing institution announced the discovery of large scale fraud to the tune of US$3.8 million by recipient organisations in Nigeria. The report noted between 2010 and 2014, weak monitoring of health commodities, ineffective inventory management and distribution of commodities from the Federal Medical Store and inadequate control of procurement processes through procurement agent. The GFATM subsequently suspended the quarterly disbursement of funds to the country.

2. Thieving Judges
The judiciary was jolted in October when agents of the Department of State Security brazenly arrested Supreme, Appeal and High Court Judges in a controversial sting operation that took everyone by surprise. According to the DSS, the Judges were arrested for various corrupt practices including possession of hard currencies and prime real estate properties. Some of the judges claimed to have been coerced into signing indicting statements.

1. The budget fiasco
Poor long suffering Nigerians were confronted this year with a new lexicon, ‘’Budget padding,’’ the dubious and maybe (depending on who you’re talking to) criminal inflation of budgetary estimates, by top government officials with intentions of benefitting personally from the process at the expense of the country. By the time principal actors in this mess started to sing, everyone from the presidency to the legislature was caught with fingers in the jar. Oh! the budget was also ‘’missing’’ at some point.

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