EXPOSED! Governors-Elect Ihedioha, Makinde, Abiodun Gets Hard Knock For Engaging In Unlawful Acts Ahead of May 29 Handing Over Date…….See What They Did

The aftermath of the 2019 general election continues to get more twist and turns as Governor-elect across many states have come out to condemn any last minute contract or appointment embarked on by the incumbent governor before he leaves office on May 29.

One of the governors-elect that issued such directive is Emeka Ihedioha of Imo state while accusing Governor Rochas Okorocha of engaging in last minute contracts and warned off banks from doing any business with the state government at a time when the incumbent will soon be handing over.

Dapo Abiodun, Ogun governor-elect gave the same directives as regards Governor Ibikunle Amosun while governor-elect of Adamawa State, Umar Fintiri said same about Governor Mohammed Jubrilla Bindow and Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state was also called out by Governor-elect Seyi Makinde on last minute spending from state government coffers.


Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and Bank executives have come out to condemn the actions of these governors while stating that they are jumping the gun by issuing orders or directives when they have not been sworn in.

According to these lawyers, a governor reserves the right to carry out his functions in public interest even on the eve of his exit.

The SANs said governors cannot halt their executive functions merely because their terms are about to end.

They have a supporter in the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uche Olowu, who says directives by some governors-elect that banks should stop financial dealings with sitting governors are not known in law.

All a governor-elect can do, the SANs pointed out, is to reverse some of the actions taken by his predecessor when he assumes office if there is a valid reason to do so.

However, a governor-elect can issue an advisory (caveat) where an act by an outgoing governor is obviously not in public interest, one of the SANs said.

Those who spoke in different interviews with THE NATION correspondents on the issue are leading constitutional lawyers Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Mr Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN).

It was against the background of statements by some newly elected governors complaining about the actions of the incumbents which they perceive as creating problems for them on assumption of office.

Ozekhome said: “Any governor-elect who has not yet been sworn in and who will not be sworn in until May 29 remains what he is – a governor-elect. He does not have the powers of the governor of a state until he subscribes to the oath of office as governor.

“Even the immunity extended to sitting governors under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution cannot yet avail a governor-elect.

“A governor-elect is not yet immune to prosecution because the cloak of immunity cannot be adorned him until May 29 when the Chief Judge of a state swears him in as a governor.

“If we understand it from this angle, then it becomes as crystal clear as a clear sky that no governor-elect has the constitutional or legal powers to determine the direction of a state until he is sworn in.”

Ozekhome said governors-elect must wait for their time to come before issuing directives, adding that “they are still in the gestation period when the pregnancy has not yet given birth to a child”.

Owonikoko said governors have fixed tenures in office after their due return at an election, and cannot act or perform the functions of their office until they have declared their assets as required by the constitution and thereafter sworn into office by taking the prescribed oath.

“It is that oath taking that activates their term in office which is for a maximum term of four years.

“They cease to be governors-elect only after they are sworn in and their four-year-tenure begins to run, not a second or minute earlier.

“The governors-elect are jumping the gun by interposing or issuing directives on confidential state finances or on state functionaries or programs while the incumbents are yet to run their full term.

“Issuing orders which are executive in nature to countermand directives of incumbents who have not run out of their full term is tendentious. It can cause breach of public peace or breakdown in chain of command in governance in a state.

“At the very least, the incumbent, for the time being , will within his right, in deserving cases,  cause the appropriate court to bind such governor-elect over to be of good behaviour, on pain of imprisonment if he disobeys,” Owonikoko said.

For Oyetibo, the authority of a governor starts when he is sworn into office.

According to him, a governor-elect has no constitutional power to direct banks to stop honouring cheques issued by an outgoing governor.

“I think it (the governor-elect’s statement) is merely cautionary, but the authority of a governor starts when he is sworn into office.  That is clear,” he said.

According to Oyetibo, there is no limit to the power of an outgoing governor in spending budgeted funds, as well as awarding fresh contracts. But the power must be exercised with wisdom, he noted.

Oyetibo said: “There is no limit to the authority of an outgoing governor in spending, but it is not everything that is lawful that is expedient.

“If you are going out of office and you are rushing to award contracts, then there could be some sort of suspicion being raised as to the genuineness of the contract. You have to balance the situation.

Meanwhile, the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Uche Olowu, said governors-elect have no right to demand that banks obey their  instructions on cash withdrawal from banks by sitting governors.

He said the sitting governors have up to May 29 to leave office, and that until their tenures expire, they remain the custodian of the state treasuries.

Olowu said the sitting governors have existing instructions that the banks respect. He said the governors-elect should not push their problems to the banks as the banks will only respect instructions from the sitting governors.

“Until the governors-elect are sworn in, the banks cannot take instructions from them. I believe that such utterances from the governors-elect  are not necessary. It is not known in law and they have no right to instruct any bank on banking transactions until they are sworn in,” he said.

Also speaking, former Executive Director, Keystone Bank, Richard Obire, said until the governors-elect are sworn in, and they form their cabinets, no bank will listen to them.

He said that the governors are not even signatories to the accounts, and only approve payments adding that the cheques are signed by the permanent secretaries and finance commissioners.

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