Reacting to the controversy trailing its recent appointment of 1,468 Nigerians into the boards of agencies and parastatals, the presidency said there was nothing scandalous about the list, as “the list has a history”.
Notable among the list was Francis Okpozo, a former Senator, who died on December 26, 2016, and was on Friday appointed to be the chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Press Council.
Mr Okpozo was a former deputy speaker of defunct Bendel State who died in Benin City after an illness, was also elected to the Senate on the Social Democratic Party platform.
However, the spokesman of the president, Garba Shehu explained that the list was prepared by the embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal.
He added that the current SGF was only directed to complete that process by releasing the list which he apparently did without altering it.
In a telephone interview with the PREMIUM TIMES, the spokesman said, “in 2015, Mr. President requested all state chapters of the party to submit names of 50 party members for board appointments.
“The names where compiled by the national secretariat of the APC and forwarded to the then secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir Lawal.
“However, complaint arose from some governors who felt they were not carried along in the process. To answer this, the president constituted a committee under the vice president to review and reflect the interest of the governors,” pointed out.
Mr Shehu however said action was delayed on the report of the committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as President Muhammadu Buhari took ill.
“The president’s trips for medical attention slowed down completion of the process,” he said, until when Mr Buhari decided to revisit the matter recently.
Mr Shehu admitted that errors were committed but added that “no human undertaking can be free of mistakes”.
He said the errors identified with the list were not enough to describe the exercise as scandalous, insisting that “there is no scandal”.
The spokesperson said all errors in the list would be corrected.