A Nigerian public officer, Osayande Obazee who is enmeshed in many controversies has been appointed by President Bola Tinubu as a special investigator.
His appointment by President Tinubu as a special investigator to probe the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other federal government agencies has raised the bar.
Obazee, who was addressed by Tinubu as the CEO of the Financial Reporting Council in a letter he signed dated July 28, 2023, has previously been convicted of sexual harassment.
According to SaharaReporters, Obazee was convicted of sexually harassing former Personal Assistant, Mrs Abimbola Patricia Yakubu. Although the former pastor with Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) denied the allegations despite the court judgment, SaharaReporters could not independently ascertain whether he appealed against the judgment.
Mr. Obazee was the executive secretary of the Financial Reporting Council in 2013 when Yakubu accused him of sexual harassment. She was later sacked, a development that forced her to institute legal action against the FRC for wrongful termination of her appointment and covering up sexual assault by its leadership. Mrs. Yakubu later won the lawsuit at the Kano Division of the National Industrial Court.
Justice Oyebiola Oyewunmi who tried the case, did not only order the reinstatement of the Claimant but also awarded N5 million in her favour against Mr. Obazee. The court in the judgment delivered on November 24, 2016, ordered the reinstatement of the Claimant with full payment of her salaries, including for the years she was away from work over the illegal termination.
The court found that Ms Yakubu “suffered unquantifiable mental and psychological trauma, low self-worth and dignity,” from Mr Obazee’s treatment.
“I award the sum of N5,000,000.00 against the 2nd defendant for sexually harassing the claimant, discrimination against her, inhuman and executive recklessness of the 2nd defendant, thereby creating a hostile working environment for the claimant and for the violation of her human dignity and self-worth-respect,” the judge ruled.
Apart from Mrs. Yakubu’s case, Obazee was enmeshed in another controversy in 2014 when he nailed the former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Obazee’s FRCN was the one that recommended Sanusi’s suspension and even rejected the responses of the former CBN governor to his query on graft, describing it as “a clear display of incompetence, nonchalance, fraud, wastefulness, abuse of due process and deliberate efforts to misrepresent facts on the part of the leadership of the CBN.”
Obazee who was, the first Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, got himself into another muddy water of Nigeria’s power play when he was also linked to the implementation of the controversial Corporate Governance Code 2016, which made Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), to relinquish his position and announce Joseph Obayemi as his successor.
Obazee stoutly defended the new law, to the extent that he reportedly told church leaders, who complained about what they saw as the government’s attempt to interfere in the “work of God,” that if they felt they should not be regulated, they should “take their churches to heaven.”
The new law directed leaders of churches and mosques to resign their positions after 20 years at the helm of affairs or after attaining 70 years of age. It was in obedience to the directive that Pastor Adeboye reportedly resigned from leading Nigeria’s branch of the RCCG.
Adeboye’s stepping down generated a Tsunami-like response and Obazee found himself nailed to the cross of sacking by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017.
In 2016, Mr. Obazee was also accused of siphoning public funds into his pocket from the agency, years after allegedly taking bribes to recommend a federal takeover of some banks and the removal of Lamido Sanusi and the CBN governor.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had closely monitored his activities over a legion of petitions. In the petitions, he was accused of using consultants in handling the affairs of the agency and some expenditures, a development he allegedly employed to stash away public funds through kickbacks.
Obazee had conducted investigations in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He also investigated the Bank of Industry (BOI), Zenith Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, and Access Bank Plc.
The financial expert has served in several technical committees, including those on Accounting in the Petroleum Industry, Upstream Activities; Technical Committee on Accounting for Insurance Business; Technical Committee on Accounting for Statement of Cash Flows; Committee on Implementation Guide to Accounting for Leases and Technical Committee on Accounting in the Petroleum Industry – Downstream Activities among others.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Benin; a master of science degree in accounting from the University of Lagos, and a certification in strategic financial analysis for business evaluation from Harvard University, USA.
He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) and the American Accounting Association (AAA).