Corrupt Ex-Govs, Loyalists, Technocrats… Tinubu’s Cabinet of ‘Jobs for the Boys’

As ministerial nominees got screened and confirmed by the Senate, WikkiTimes unveils some core loyalists to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who have been in his political camp for a long time. 

In the aftermath of its screening, the 10th Senate confirmed former governors accused of corruption by diverting public resources as prospective ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

The governors who served eight years of two terms were alleged to have enriched themselves to the detriment of the masses while in the corridors of power.

PROFILE: Abubakar Bagudu, Tinubu’s Ministerial Nominee Who Defrauded Nigeria


Top on the list of the former governors is Alh Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the immediate past Kebbi State governor. 

Abubakar Bagudu was believed to be a stooge of Nigeria’s military dictator, Sani Abacha, who was accused of helping the military ruler to launder Nigeria resources in the 1990s. He also made it to Tinubu’s cabinet.

He forfeited parts of his wealth in both US and Nigeria which made the Nigerian government drop corruption charges against him in 2003.

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Bagudu featured prominently in Pandora papers as part of people amassing dirty billions and how he is hiding it. 

Another former governor, Muhammad Bello Matawalle of Zamfara was accused of stealing 70 billion naira from the coffers of Zamfara State. Yet, he got the job.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, EFCC started probing Matawalle for the alleged N70 billion fraud.

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However, the duo of Bagudu and Matawalle were cleared by the Senate. 

But the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has not been confirmed by the Senate. 

El Rufai is yet to be confirmed due to a petition on his stewardship in the last eight years in Kaduna, he was standing trial for allegedly embezzling N32 billion revenue from sales of Federal Government Houses between 2005 and 2007 when he was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike is also fingered in a multimillion naira fraud alongside his then Accountant General, now Rivers State governor, Sim Fubara. 

Wike has been cleared and confirmed as a minister and member of the federal executive Council. 

Adegboyega Oyetola who served a single term as governor of Osun State between 2018 and 2022 also has been named in the Pandora Papers corruption scandal.

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The report revealed that an offshore shell company based in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven, and linked to Oyetola, bought the mansion from another British Virgin Islands-based offshore company formed by Kola Aluko whose assets Nigerian authorities tried to freeze.


Olawale Edun, an astute financial and banking expert, is a core loyalist and confidant of President Tinubu. He served as a two-term commissioner of finance from 1999 to 2007, under the then Lagos Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He was nominated by Tinubu as a member of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC) after the latter was declared the winner of the 2023 presidential elections.

Tinubu penned his name as a potential vice-presidential candidate for Former President Buhari alongside Professor Yemi Osibajo and Yemi Cardozo.

Oyetola also falls in this category. He lost his reelection bid for the second term under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022 to Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He is a political son of the president and in 2011 he was appointed as Chief of Staff to the former Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, another political son of Tinubu. 

Dele Alake, a journalist, activist and technocrat was the communication advisor and confidant of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, the winner of the annulled June 12 1993 presidential election in Nigeria.

He was a former commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State between 1999–2007 under the then Governor of Lagos State, Tinubu. In 2014, he became director of Media and Communication of the Buhari Campaign Organisation to help Nigeria’s former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari to victory in the 2015 presidential election. It was believed that Alake was recommended by Tinubu.

Until this nomination, he was Senior Special Adviser to the president on Communication and Strategy.

Lateef Fagbemi is a Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN) from Ijagbo, Kwara State. He is the APC’s team lead attorney defending the 2023 presidential election result in Court.

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Also the counsel to the All Progressive Congress during Governor Oyetola versus Adeleke’s election tribunal hearing appeal. And the legal counsel to the Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for financial fraud. He is also Tinubu’s political ally for a long time.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, a politician. He is a member of the House of Representatives (Nigeria), representing Akoko North East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency of Ondo State. He is the Chairman of the House Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He is currently serving his first term in the National Assembly (Nigeria) having been elected in March 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is Tinubu’s political protégé. 

Waheed Adebayo Adelabu, is a former deputy governor, Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He was the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2019 election in Oyo State but lost to Seyi Makinde of the PDP. Prior to 2023, Adelabu dumped APC to contest again on the platform of the Accord Party but lost to Seyi, the incumbent governor. He is very close to Tinubu.

Abdullahi Tijjani Gwarzo was the deputy governor of Kano State in the second term of Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, from 2007 to 2011. He had served as the Special Adviser to Governor Shekarau, from 2003 to 2007 under the ANPP.

His path crossed with President Tinubu when he defected to the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to run unsuccessfully for governor.

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Mohammed Idris (Malagi) is a media entrepreneur, Publisher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Blueprint newspaper. After his failure to clinch the APC guber ticket in Niger State, he donated Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidential Campaign office in Minna.

Olatunbosun Tijani is a Nigerian-British entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), a leading Pan-African innovation and technology centre.

In 2023, Tijani earned a PhD in innovation and economic development from the School of Business, University of Leicester. 

Tijani is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and industry leader in the African technology ecosystem and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People on the continent by New Africa Magazine. He initiated the first visit of Mark Zuckerberg to Nigeria in August 2016 as part of efforts to place Africa on the global technology map. He is a technocrat believed to be brought in by Tinubu’s confidants.

Ishak Salako is the Co-ordinator of the Ogun West Stakeholders Forum. He is a medical practitioner and former Commissioner for Health in Ogun State. A physician and academic, Salako is a close ally to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. A professor, Salako is both a loyalist and a technocrat. He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and London.


  1. The analysis of the nominees is apt, comprehensive and revealing the fact that this country stewardship is cyclical which signify no significant departure from the ignoble of misgovernance


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