His Several Run-ins with Nigeria’s Power Bloc… What You Don’t Know about FRCN Boss, Jim Obazee


Payback’s a bitch. Ask Jim Obazee. The ousted boss of Financial Regulatory Council of Nigeria (FRCN) had his ego brutalised and smashed to smithereens like badly cast figurine caught in the wheel of a garbage truck. There is no gainsaying President Muhammadu Buhari treated Jim like garbage by giving him the boot on the day his ego hopped on steroids.

Buhari sacked Obazee soon after he implemented a law that forced RCCG founder and General Overseer (GO), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to step down. The controversial law requires that religious leaders retired from their leadership posts 20 years after they assume headship and that they must not transfer leadership of their organizations to their wards or other family members. In the wake of public outcry against Adeboye’s resignation, Buhari sacked Jim and suspended the controversial law. Jim is certainly not new to controversy.

It would be recalled that he was responsible for the sack of the Emir of Kano, HRM Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, while he served as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Prior to his sack, Sanusi had made weighty allegations against the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that billions of dollars accruable to the federation were being diverted by some persons in the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In the heat of the storm following Sanusi’s allegations, Jonathan, relying on a recommendation of the FRCN, which accused Sanusi of financial recklessness, sacked him.

After his sack, the FRCN began to probe Sanusi, but he shunned several invitations of the council. He later sued the council for defamation. In October 2015, the FRCN, under Jim’s leadership, suspended the number of Atedo Peterside, chairman of Stanbic IBTC, implying that for the period of the said suspension, he would be unable to append his signature on financial reports. The council cited infractions in the 2013/2014 financial statements of the bank as the reason for its decision. It directed the bank to restate and to re-issue its 2013-14 financial statements. It also imposed a fine of N1bn on the bank. Besides Peterside’s, the FRCN numbers of Sola David-Borha, group managing director, and two other directors of the company, were also suspended.

If Bimbola Ashiru, the Ogun State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, had his way as he is wont to in governance, he would have negotiated with death to name its cost and spare the life of his mother, Madam Moradehun Ashiru who died days ago. Bimbo was devastated and inconsolable. He raved and ranted about his loss, tearing and tugging at his hair.

If Bimbo would define his mother, Madam Moradehun Ashiru who passed away last Sunday night, he would claim that the wall of her heart was lined with gold and silver; he would say that she lived by a moral code that dwarfed old England’s claim to chivalry and honour. Then he might say that even in her absence; that old diffident virtuosity she left behind, resonates poignantly like the timeless lyric of a heavenly chant. There are too many ways to describe Bimbo’s mother, and even the best couched adjectives couldn’t do justice to the task.

At the burial last Monday in Ijebu, the deceased definitely turned in her grave for the honour and unrivalled show of love that her beloved son attracted for her sake. It was like a state event; there were in attendance, Ogun state governor, a presidential delegation, members of the National Assembly and prominent moguls of the business community. Already, preparations are in top gear to give his mother a befitting 40-day funeral ceremony in few weeks; a committee has been set up to make sure the A-list party goes according to plan.

As the storm gathers and wild wind blows echoes of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, founder and General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s alleged resignation, across the social and political landscape, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, has reiterated that he is very much in charge of his church thus dousing speculations that he has also stepped down and appointed a successor to his post.

Oyedepo recently reacted to a law by the Financial Regulations Council of Nigeria (FRCN), which requires that religious leaders quit leadership of their organisations after spending 20 years in leadership position. Reacting, Oyedepo said: “If you heard or saw anything in the newspapers or anywhere that the G.O has retired, it’s a lie of the devil. In our spiritual family tree we don’t retire. Someone asked Kenneth Copeland “are you stepping down?”, he replied, ‘No I’m stepping up.’ Copeland ministered for six hours straight at 80 years of age. Men and brethren, settle down and enjoy my being here. I’m going to be here for a very long time. I spoke to my father in the Lord (Pastor Adeboye) in person and he said “Let them enjoy the confusion for a moment.”

The gods, it is often said, visit the sins of the fathers upon the children. Little wonder Fatima Gumsu, daughter of ex-military president, late Sani Abacha, is on the receiving end of the brute end of Nigerians’ animosity to her family due to her father’s ‘sins.’ Fatima recently took to twitter to lament the pains of being attacked for her father’s sins. In an Instagram post, @G_sparking, Fatima revealed that dealing with what Nigerians say about her family has not been easy.

She made this known after a user, @dapoprince said a prayer about citizens’ need to desist from visiting the sins of past leaders on their children on twitter. He wrote: “NIGERIA will be 57 next year, may we not continue to visit the sins of our past “perceived bad” leaders on their innocent” children. Reacting to the prayer, Fatima said, “Amin to your prayers. May Allah open special doors for you. Happy New Year.
“It definitely has not been easy dealing with this for almost two decades. “Our family has been called all sorts of names.

“We have been under so much attack. It definitely doesn’t feel nice.
“I used to cry so much at the beginning, I had no choice but to develop crocodile skin.
“It still hurts so much even though I have learned to live with it. “I was not the head of state. “I did not receive a monthly salary neither did I choose to be Fatima Gumsu Sani Abacha.
“May Almighty Allah make it easy for us all. Happy 2017,” she said.