Barring any last-minute change, a son (name withheld) of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), may soon be named the country’s Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Nigerian Tribune has reliably learnt.
This is coming on the heels of indications that some loyalists of President Bola Tinubu’s have expressed concern over the planned inclusion of some immediate past state governors on the ministerial list.
They were said to have described the possibility as full of “bad optics.”
According to Nigerian Tribune, sources close to the working of the administration told the Nigerian Tribune that some close allies of the president, both within and outside the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have raised objections to the inclusion of the immediate past governors on the ministerial list as they claimed it could lead to loss of goodwill by the administration.
The former CJN, whose son is being considered for the post of AGF, also had the honour of serving as Nigeria’s Attorney General and was reputed to have served in both the First Republic and under the military regimes before he was promoted to serve as President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
One of late eminent jurist’s sons has been reportedly tapped by the president to man the critical justice sector, following the reported rejection of an offer made by Tinubu to his personal lawyer and long-time associate, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
When contacted, the Ekiti high chief said it wasn’t time for him to talk.
Another Senior Advocate from Oyo State was briefly considered by the president’s inner circle for the office of AGF but he was said to have been dropped because the appointment could offend Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution because a relation of his was said to have occupied a crucial position already.
Sources said that while a number of names sent by the president had been processed by the security agencies, the list was still work in progress as of Sunday evening.
Another close source revealed at the weekend that the eventual submission of the list, may exceed the 60-day constitutional deadline for the composition of the federal cabinet, due to the concern within the new administration about the alleged inclusion of some ex-governors.
A source, however, said that the names could be submitted in batches so as to beat the constitutional provision.
It was learnt that some of those who are close to the president are worried the optics of appointing governors who just left office, into the federal cabinet, may reflect poorly on the administration’s vow to be refreshingly different, in quality.
The alleged inclusion of the immediate governors of Kano (Abdullahi Ganduje) Rivers (Nyesom Wike), Kebbi (Atku Bagudu), Kaduna (Nasiru el-Rufai) and Nasarawa (Tanko Al-Makura) States, is seen by worried loyalists of the president as a continuation of the past, which they claim might erode the moderate public goodwill the new administration enjoys.
A source questioned the possibility of the ex- governors’ inclusion thus: “What is the political weight and relevance of the former governors now in their states? Nigerians would simply think Asiwaju isn’t serious if he should go ahead to announce these former governors as ministers. But we wait.”
The ongoing subtle campaign against the former governors is reportedly reverberating in many North-Central states, where the combination of religion and ethnicity has taken a front row in contrasting narratives being pushed by contending interests.
The battle is said to be most fierce in Nasarawa State, where Al-Makura is up against his estranged protege and governor of the State, Engineer Abdullahi Sule.
Though Al-Makura’s name is atop the three-man list sent in by Sule, for consideration, Nigerian Tribune gathered that the inclusion of the ex-governor’s name, was at the behest of the traditional institution in the state.