Most jobs usually have a condition that binds an employee to be on their best behaviour or risk termination of employment. No one wants to hire a chef who stinks up the kitchen or a driver who drinks on the job.

Unless you have a car you can afford to lose to gravity

This social contract about red flags isn’t any different for politicians who want to occupy influential positions that determine the state of their societies. But Nigerian politicians are clearly not subjected to any known laws of nature because they’ve got away with things that would make other regular people lose their jobs.

The people on this list are top of the class.

Elisha Abbo

These Nigerian Politicians Got Away With Murder... Sort Of

He thinks he’s him. He thinks he’s James Bond

You’d think one of the most enduring qualities of a public official would be their temperament and strong willpower not to commit crimes. But Senator Elisha Abbo didn’t consult that handbook when he savagely attacked a woman inside a sex toy shop in Abuja. 

Just a few weeks after he was sworn in as the youngest senator of Nigeria’s 9th Assembly in 2019, a leaked video of the attack turned the lawmaker into online sensation. Abbo repeatedly slapped the woman because she supported the shop owner whom the lawmaker had accused of insulting him. Even worse, he instructed police officers to arrest her while vowing to deal with her.

The incident sparked a tsunami of outrage that resulted in a Senate investigation, a criminal case and a civil lawsuit. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court ordered the senator to pay his victim, Osimibibra Warmate, ₦50 million as compensation, but he beat the criminal case and the Senate investigation died a shameful, quiet death. 

The senator even comically won a “Beacon of Hope” award and an “ICON at Democracy” award months after the assault. He’s contesting for a second term as senator in 2023.

Ovie Omo-Agege

These Nigerian Politicians Got Away With Murder... Sort Of

If you don’t know what a mace is, just think of it as the Bible of a legislative chamber in Nigeria. It’s the most sacred object of authority that gives legitimacy to the business of the people that make laws ruining running our lives as Nigerians. But on April 18, 2018, some thugs invaded the upper legislative chamber where senators meet and stole their mace. If you’re wondering how thugs invaded a well-fortified building crawling with security agents, it’s because they entered the chamber with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who had been suspended by the chamber for misconduct.

The police arrested and questioned Omo-Agege but he maintained his innocence. The mace was later found abandoned by the roadside but no one else was ever arrested. The case ended up as another mysterious one for our police officers to never bother about solving.

Now, no one is allowed to call Omo-Agege a mace thief, so we’re definitely not calling him a mace thief. 

We’re just pointing out that the thieves followed him into the chamber to grab the mace and take it out for lunch. This would be a career-ending scandal for a politician in saner climes — if they don’t end up in jail first. But, like a phoenix, Omo-Agege rose from the ashes of the controversy and won his re-election as a senator. His colleagues were so impressed by his panache that they even elected him the deputy senate president in 2019.

Omo-Agege is now a strong contender to win the 2023 election to become Delta State’s next governor. Who said stealing the mace doesn’t pay?

Abdullahi Ganduje

These Nigerian Politicians Got Away With Murder... Sort Of

He’s got hands that love to receive

What do you get a man who has everything and is sitting in a prime position to corner public funds? The answer to that question can change from person to person, but we know how the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, likes it.

These Nigerian Politicians Got Away With Murder... Sort Of

The answer is dollars

In October 2018, the Daily Nigerian published a series of scandalous videos that caught Gandollar Ganduje taking wads of American dollars from someone and sticking them into his clothes. The collection was payment he took from a contractor — allegedly o — to approve contracts for a project. Basically, he was getting paid dollars on the side to motivate him to do his day job. Some people would call it bribery, and many people called it that.

“It’s only a crime if you get caught, right?”

The videos raised a stink and Nigerians called for the governor’s impeachment and prosecution, but Ganduje used his good friends in the Kano State House of Assembly to block all that nonsense blowback and kept his job. 

The governor went even further to win re-election one year later and was cheeky enough to make anti-corruption policies to stop public officials from becoming like him abusing their power.

Abba Moro

These Nigerian Politicians Got Away With Murder... Sort Of

In 2014, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) needed to fill 4,556 vacant positions and made a public call for recruitment. 675,675 young Nigerians applied across the country and even paid a controversial ₦1,000 access fee. Things started to go sideways when over 500,000 shortlisted applicants were instructed to go to designated centres for further assessment. 

The volume of applicants that showed up caused overcrowding issues which escalated and left at least 15 people dead in the ensuing chaos in Abuja, Edo, Niger and Rivers.

The chief architect of the recruitment exercise was Abba Moro who was the Minister of Interior at the time. Moro’s initial reaction to the tragedy was to blame the victims for their impatience — he’s a Nigerian politician after all. It took the minister more than a week to even acknowledge some responsibility. He also blamed Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, the firm hired to run the exercise, for the disorganisation and illegal fees paid by the applicants, but a Senate investigation discovered he made the unilateral decision to hire the consultant.

Abba Moro never lost his job over the scandal, and even beat a criminal case that convicted another official, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, who was the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, for awarding the contract to the firm. 

While the case dragged in court for years, Abba Moro contested and won a senate seat in 2019, and is contesting for a second term in 2023.

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