Ahead of the February National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), some former governors and senators with corruption pending cases have signified interest in becoming national chairman an investigation by our source has revealed.
The ruling party, which produced the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, is currently being headed by a caretaker committee headed by Mai-Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe State.
But, a critical peep into the profiles of the majority of those who have indicated interest to succeed Buni, reflected a particular trend.
Those who have indicated interest to succeed Buni and have one corruption case or the other are Senator Tanko Al-Makura, former Governor of Nasarawa state; Mohammed Danjuma Goje, former Governor of Gombe State; Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, former Governor of Zamfara State; and Isa Yuguda, former Governor of Bauchi State among others.
Senator Tanko Al-Makura
One of the contestants for the APC chairmanship position is Tanko Al-Makura. Al-Makura, is a former Nasarawa State governor and current senator representing Nasarawa south senatorial district.
Al-Makura was the governor of Nasarawa State between 2011 and 2019 before he was elected as a senator representing Nasarawa South senatorial district.
He also has a corruption case on his neck.
He was in July, grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corruption.
He was not alone in this, his wife, Mairo, was also grilled with him over cases in relation to an alleged breach of trust and misappropriation of funds running into billions of Naira, allegedly perpetrated during his eight-year tenure as governor.
Mohammed Danjuma Goje
Danjuma Goje is another former governor vying for the position of APC Chairman.
He has spent over 20 years holding one political position of the other, and he is still a senator at the upper chamber.
He was the Minister Of State, Power and Steel between 1999 and 2001 before becoming the Executive Governor of Gombe State, a position he held between 2003 and 2011.
Goje is currently a Senator representing Gombe Central.
He was for a long time enmeshed in a N25 billion fraud case that lingered till 2019 when the Federal Government decided to bail him out by withdrawing the case against him.
In 2011, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC filed charges against Goje, alongside Aliyu El-Nafaty, a former executive chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board, for an alleged N25 billion fraud.
The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), however, applied for the withdrawal of the charges in July 2019 when Goje decided to rescind his decision to contest Senate Presidency.
Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari
Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, the immediate governor of Zamfara State is another contestant for the APC chairmanship position.
He was the Zamfara State governor from 29 May 2011 to 29 May 2019.
Since leaving office, the EFCC has been trailing him for different charges bothering on corruption.
Yari’s residence was raided by EFCC over an alleged corruption case in 2019.
In January, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the final forfeiture of N278million, traced to his bank accounts.
In April, he was detained by the EFCC, citing his alleged illegal financial dealings and misappropriation of funds.
Isa Yuguda is another former governor aspiring to be the APC chairman.
Isa Yuguda was first elected in April 2007, on the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) platform. In April 2009, he changed allegiance from the ANPP to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was re-elected Governor on 28 April 2011.
Prior to emerging as the Bauchi Governor, he was a Federal Minister of Aviation between May 2003 and June 2005.
Just like Al-Makura, Yari and Goje, Yuguda has also been invited by the EFCC for one corruption case or the other.
In September 2015, he was invited by the EFCC for questioning over the alleged disappearance of a state-owned aircraft.
In January 2017, he was indicted for misappropriating a sum of N212 billion belonging to Bauchi State while he was in office.
The EFCC also sealed and seized a choice property belonging to him in 2017.
Since leaving office, he has been facing several allegations bothering on abuse of office, money laundering and diversion of public funds.
Another contestant for the APC chairmanship position is George Akume.
Akume was the Benue State Governor between May 1999 and May 2007. He thereafter, served as Senator representing Benue North-West.
Akume is currently the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs.
Behind this political experience lies a corruption allegation levelled against him.
In 2006, he was accused of beating EFCC operatives at the office of a former Commissioner for Police and allegedly destroyed documents capable of implicating him in a corruption case.
The Benue State governor, Governor Samuel Ortom, has recently challenged the EFCC to revisit the N2 billion corruption case against Akume.
Ali Modu Sheriff
Ali Modu Sheriff was the Borno State’s first governor to serve two consecutive terms. He served between 2003 and 2011.
Prior to emerging as a governor, Ali Modu Sheriff was a Senator representing Borno Central between 1999 and 2003.
Ali Modu Sheriff has also been invited by the EFCC for various allegations.
He was invited by the EFCC in 2016 for mismanaging a sum of N300billion when he was a governor.
He has also been fingered for having hands in the emergence of Boko Haram.