Adolphus Wabara, Bayo Ojo: Where are they now?

A former President of the Senate; former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and a former minister have since their stewardships in public office are no longer visible. So, where they could be at the moment; asks ELEOJO IDACHABA.

Adolphus Wabara

Adolphus Wabara once represented the people of Abia South in the Senate between 1999 and 2005. In between, he was elected by his colleagues in 2003 to the position of Senate president following the impeachment of Chuba Okadigbo. He, however, did not complete his tenure in the Senate. He is probably one of the few Nigerians whose belief in the sanctity of public office is above personal gains. That was why as against the sit-tight syndrome common with public officers even after their involvement in any scandal, he chose to throw in the towel. This was when he was alleged to have asked for a bribe from the former education minister, Prof Fabian Osuji, to pass the 2005 education budget in which the latter was sacked. Wabara, a month after followed by resigning, not only from the Senate president position, but from the upper chamber, an action analysts say was done with dignity. Although he faced prosecution, he was set free a few years later. After extended legal battles, on June 1, 2010, the charges were dropped. The court held that the charges were bogus and failed to disclose any prima facie case against him. The court held that the action of the federal government on the allegation was most embarrassing, barbaric and uncivilised because the accused persons had not made statements to any security agents before the broadcast trial by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Justice Odili said Wabara had no case to answer in law and consequently set him and others free of the charges. Since then, this man whose tenure as Senate president radiated glamour because of his unique personality and leadership style, has been away from public office despite the Supreme Court judgment that absolved him of all the charges levelled against him.

 Bayo Ojo

Chief Christopher Adebayo Ojo (SAN) is the former Attorney General of the country towards the end of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. He is also a one-time president of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). Ojo, who hails from Ife-Ijumu in Kogi state, had his primary school education in Maiduguri and Kaduna and post-primary education in Zaria. He proceeded to the University of Lagos where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1977. He was then called to the Bar in July 1978, after completing his law school programme. Subsequently, he began his career as a corps member when he appeared as defence counsel in a rape case before Hon. Justice Anthony Iguh of the High Court of Justice Enugu in 1978.

He, however, lost the case because of the overwhelming evidence against his client. As Attorney-General, unlike his predecessors and successors, he regularly appeared in courts personally to argue cases on behalf of the government. He was also noted for his efforts at decongesting prisons by engaging lawyers in private practice to defend various individuals who were being held by the state without trial. Since he left office in 2007, not much has been heard about him neither was he noticed in any major public event. He, however, has a thriving legal business in the nation’s capital.

Emeka Wogu

Chukwuemeka Wogu is from Abia state and was the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity under former President Goodluck Jonathan. He resigned from the cabinet in 2014 to run for governor, but lost due to what analysts referred to as party politics, a development that he cannot forget having fought for the survival of the party right from its formation in 1998 to date. He is a trained lawyer, but turned to politics. Prior to this time, he was the vice-chairman of Aba South local government area until he became its chairman. At a point, he was also in the House of Representatives and later as political adviser to Orji Uzor Kalu who was the governor. What can be considered as Wogu’s first baptism of fire on being appointed minister was when he came to contend with a nationwide strike by federal civil servants, a strike that was planned to start in April 2010, barely a month he was appointed. The negotiation that followed involved a meeting with the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council which represents the eight unions involved in that negotiation as well as other parties. He was able to swim through the stormy waters until the strike was called off. Wogu was one of the strong members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government, but in early 2018, he reportedly dumped his party and joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). While justifying his exit from the PDP during an interview, Wogu said the decision was borne out of what he called the injustice he suffered which the party leadership both at the state and federal levels failed to address. He has been out of public scene since his last public appointment that ended in 2014.

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