Of Portfolios and Men.

October 28, 2019

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22- 8 – 2019

This is Zikoko’s Game of Votes Weekly Dispatch. We share the most important things that happen in Nigeria every week. 5pm Thursdays. Stay woke. 


Congratulations are in order for members of the presidency’s newly inaugurated cabinet. Their appointments mark a new foray of sorts into the Nigerian labour market, giving each of them, one leg above 20.9m Nigerians that are currently unemployed. Over to you, newly re-appointed Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, where do we send the fruit baskets?

So what went down? 

On August 21st, 43 of The Bubs’ closest friends and appointees were formally inaugurated ⁠ — portfolios and all ⁠ — into various cabinets within his administration. This came 23 days after their respective confirmations, 6 months after the elections and 4 years since an even worse record was set. Consistency ⁠ — major 🗝️.

Only two days prior, however, the Federal High Court denied a lawyer’s application to stop the inauguration, on the grounds that there was no nominee from the FCT. This is important because the Nigerian cabinet requires appointments from all 36 states. But seeing as his application was late, the court said no dice, so now we’re stuck with these guys or whatever.

Now to the inauguration tea: five new ministries were created, one minister readied our minds for disappointment and an unlikely pairing was made. #Leggo.

New ministries.

Somebody must have noticed Babatunde Fashola’s back was starting to hunch from shouldering the weight of the Power, Works and Housing ministries. So now we have a new Ministry of Power, headed by Sale Mamaan, while Fashola focuses on the already established Ministries of Works and Housing.

The remaining four are Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development — headed by Sadiya Umar. While the Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs is headed by George Akume. Hadi Srika is now fully the Minister of Aviation, and Muhammadu Dingyadi heads Police Affairs as Minister.

View the full list of ministers here.

(If you’re wondering about ‘Ministers’ and ‘Ministers of State’, the simple distinction between them, is that the Minister heads the Ministry, while the Minister of State deputizes for him. A junior minister of sorts. The not-so-simple distinction is that the Minister of State is a filler/reward post for government loyalists. You hate to see it.)

An unlikely pairing.

Back in 2015, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State- Godswill Akpabio got into hot water with the EFCC for allegedly diverting over ₦100bn during his tenure. Of that 100bn, ₦1.4bn was alleged to have been gifted to a new generation bank for unknown reasons. Trés shady.

Naturally, a case was opened against him by the EFCC to investigate, a body in which a certain Festus Keyamo, SAN served as a prosecutor, but more on this shortly.

As punishment, Akpabio served as the Senate Majority leader between 2015–2018, a senator for Akwa Ibom North from 2018–2019, and is now really facing the music, as the newly inaugurated Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Oh, we definitely showed him!

Now guess who the Minister of State for the Niger Delta is? Former EFCC lawyer, Festus Keyamo.

What’s worse is that though the EFCC claimed not to have closed the case against Akpabio in 2018, the body has been awfully quiet on its probe since then.


Aregbesola is keeping expectations real low.

As the newly inaugurated Minister of Interior, former Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola is leading the case study for NOT KEEPING MINISTERIAL PORTFOLIOS SECRET, LIKE THEY’RE THE COCA-COLA RECIPE!

Shortly after the inauguration as head of the interior ministry, he had this to say: “What I know about the ministry is what I read in the Newspapers,”

What that means is, the minister in charge of police matters, national security, immigration, the conduct of elections, emergency management etc, is as knowledgeable about the interior ministry, as you are.

Send help. Fast.


Three things to know about Abba Kyari:

  1. He is the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari
  2. We’re not too sure about his age. There are two Wikipedia links to ‘Abba Kyari’, and I thought he was the one aged 81, because, well…

3. Somehow, this man and his … joints are expected to stand in between the president and his newly formed cabinet. The president said so himself.

Long touted to wield unadvisable influence over the presidency, Abba Kyari’s role as a buffer between the president and ministers looking to seek the face of the president only serves to prove that there might be a fire behind all the smoke.

While President Buhari claims the directive is to speed up the process of decision making, It is wildly unimaginable that with the security, health, education and just plain perpetual crisis rocking the country, the officials in charge of affairs, first have to jump through a geriatric hoop to keep the presidency informed. Do better Buhari.


Are you familiar with the story of the chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property— Okoi Obono Obla? In a real ironic twist, he has been suspended from his post and is currently under investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over allegations of financial impropriety and administrative misconduct. Interesting, but that’s not all.

He is also being charged with forging his WAEC certificate, which was used to gain access to study law at the University of Jos.

He denies all allegations and even the ICPC’s powers to investigate him. He believes these charges are in retribution for his dogged anti-corruption efforts. Hm.

At this point, I’m going to need every single official of government to get on InstaLive and put all their qualifications — WAEC, B.SC, NYSC — under ultraviolet light, because dis tew much.



… and he’s just re-learning how to, after years of … training.

On August 20th, EFCC officials raided the homes of the former Governor — Akinwunmi Ambode in Epe and Ikoyi as part of an on-going investigation. The EFCC is probing the diversion of N9.9bn  into three bank accounts linked to Ambode.

Videos showed that the Operatives of the EFCC were denied entry into Ambode’s home in Epe by the youth in the area. In his home in Ikoyi however, their warrants granted them access, where they searched thoroughly.

In a statement released by his lawyers who were present during the raid, they claimed they prevented the EFCC from planting evidence, even though the phones of the lawyers were seized in the process.

In their words: “Almost six phones were forcefully taken away. IPhones inclusive.” IPhone’s inclusive? LOL, what?

Anyway, it’s been a tough year for the former governor, what with losing his job and not getting nominated for Minister as was wildly suspected. It might get a little rougher if anything comes out of this investigation. Guess we’ll see.



1. Currently accepting any recommendations to help unsee this video of the Finance Minister — Zainab Ahmed being welcomed back to office by members of the ministry expected to give her objective advice.

2. No way you missed the despicable attack on Ike Ekweremadu, but did you know IPOB has promised other governors, it’s on sight, should they dare travel abroad?

3. For some reason. Nigeria randomly closed the Seme border.

4. Even though I’d rather refer to him as ‘Inmate 405’, Senator Eisha Abbo got ‘sick’ and couldn’t make his court date. This has stalled his trial for assaulting a woman in Abuja.


One recommendation, HBO’S ‘Euphoria’. You’re welcome.

Seriously, I really want to forget that video of the Finance Minister. Help me! Alternatively, you can help by distracting me with new subscriber numbers. I like the latter. 

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