Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead man into office, naming the late Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru as a board member for a government agency, two months after he died.
President Buhari sent a letter to the country’s senate on Tuesday to confirm the list of 37 appointees but was unaware that Mr Okwuru had passed away in February.
The president’s media aide, Lauretta Onochie, said Mr Okwuru was alive when the president appointed him to serve on the board and that “he even came to update his CV, in readiness for the appointment after the Senate screening”.
“When he sadly passed away while waiting for the screening by the Senate, that information was not communicated to the Federal Government,” she said.
This is not the first time Mr Buhari’s presidency has made the grave error of appointing a dead person. In 2017, the president appointed at least five people who were long dead on to several boards of government agencies.
Meanwhile, Nigeria confirmed Tuesday night 195 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day increase since the most populous African country reported the first case late February.
As of 11:50 p.m. local time (1050 GMT) on Tuesday, Nigeria has reported a total of 1,532 cases, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said.
44 deaths and 225 recoveries have been reported so far.
The new cases on Tuesday were reported from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and 14 states. The pandemic has so far spread to the FCT and 33 states in Nigeria.
Lagos, the country’s economic hub, also the worst-hit state by COVID-19, recorded 80 new cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 844, according to the NCDC. The FCT, where the capital Abuja is located, is the second worst-hit with 158 cases, while the populous northern state of Kano came third with 115 cases.