Amosu, Yari and Okorocha
Amosu, Yari and Okorocha

Immunity: Why Okorocha, Yari and Amosun Dread May 29

Come May 29, 2019, three governors; Okorocha, Yari and Amosun will end their tenures in Imo, Zamfara and Ogun states respectively. See why these governors dread May 29.

Funsho Akinwale

Speculations are rife that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will be coming for governors whose tenure will end on May 29, 2019.

The anti-graft commission has vehemently denied these speculations, saying that:

The report is a figment of the imagination of the reporter as everything about the setting of the teams ended with the first paragraph without details of such teams being set up. 

Again, the story is not true, as the EFCC does not go after anybody, including ex-governors on speculative grounds. For the avoidance of doubt, the commission only acts after the investigators have done a thorough job on any individual or firm involved in corruption related cases.

Despite this rebuttal by EFCC, come May 29, 2019, the handover date of the newly elected state governors, the immunity of outgoing governors will come to an end.

According to the Nigerian law, governors and certain political leaders while in office are protected by absolute immunity, thus they are protected from criminal prosecutions and law suits.

Thus, it is conceivable that these outgoing governors dread May 29, 2019, the official handover date.

Out of 12 states to have new governors, four of them will be picked for corruption charges hanging over them.

Gov. Rochas Okorocha
Gov. Rochas Okorocha

The accused governors include Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, Rochas Okorocha, from Imo State, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatahi Ahmed, and Governor Abdulaziz Yari from Zamfara State.

The embattled Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who is presently under suspension from his party, the All Progressives Congress, has been accused of diverting state funds running into 1 billion naira for personal use, for his senatorial campaign, and for his son-in law's governorship campaign.

In Zamfara State, Governor Yari has been under close watch of anti-graft commission for alleged diversion of Paris Club funds distributed by the federal government to 36 states of the federation to rescue most of the governors from recurring debts.

Gov. Abdulaziz Yari
Gov. Abdulaziz Yari

The Senate President's godson, Abdulfatahi, from Kwara State will also be probed after his immunity ends in May. He is expected to explain to the commission how four of his commissioners and few other close aides diverted over 1 billion naira before the presidential and national assembly election.

Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who was facing a similar issue with Okorocha in his party, will also be quizzed after May 29 by the incoming senator to give account of how he misappropriated over 4 billion naira meant for Ogun State farmers.

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun

The commission will, however, wait till 2023 to pick other corrupt governors on their list.

Among other governors are Samuel Ortom from Benue State, Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, Nysome Wike from Rivers State and Bala Mohammed from Bauchi State.

Others include Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, and Udom Emmanuel from Akwa Ibom State, who are both being accused of diversion of public funds.

Happenings Media