I regret recommending Osinbajo to Tinubu - Bayo Onanuga

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Former News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) managing director Bayo Onanuga says he regrets recommending Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to be attorney-general under the administration of Lagos governor Bola Tinubu.

Onanuga stated in a statement titled 'Tinubu and Osinbajo: The True Story of How They Met' released on Monday that days after Tinubu was elected governor in 1999, he began thinking about who would make up his cabinet.

According to the former NAN MD, who is now the Tinubu campaign's spokesperson, at a meeting attended by former Ogun governor Gbenga Daniel and former Lagos commissioner for information and strategy Dele Alake, he proposed Osinbajo replace Bayo Oriola as attorney-general.

“Tinubu had just won the election as governor of Lagos state and days after, we met on the 6th floor of Kresta Laurel at Maryland, which Otunba Gbenga Daniel donated for our use,” Onanuga wrote.

Bola Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo
Bola Tinubu and Yemi Osinbajo

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On this day, Tinubu shared with us some of the ‘certain’ appointments he intended to make. Those who were at the meeting were Otunba Daniel, Dele Alake and I. Tinubu [said] attorney-general will be Bayo Oriola.

“I shot back and said: ‘I have a better person for you’, my exact words. Tinubu was startled by my interjection. ‘He is a Law Professor and the man who drafted our company’s MOU. He crafted it in a brilliant way that protected us from the founding partners. Without this, the other shareholders would have thrown us out, I explained.

“I also said Osinbajo had worked with prince Bola Ajibola, who was the attorney-general and Minister of Justice under President Babangida.

“Dele and Otunba Daniel did not oppose my nomination, surprisingly. Tinubu also appeared eager to meet the ‘wonder lawyer’ that I had just sold to him, to replace a man, who had served as the lawyer for the campaign.

“After the meeting, I went to Osinbajo’s house in Ogudu to invite him to meet the new governor, Bola Tinubu. I remember entering the apartment from the kitchen. The wife was there when I delivered the message and left the house with him, later.

“Looking back now, do I regret what I did in January 1999? Yes, I would say I have some regret, especially since my action hurt Bayo Oriola. And my apology to Oriola once again. I could not have foreseen today’s turn of events between Tinubu and Osinbajo, who I nominated to be justice commissioner.”

Both Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Ahmed Tinubu are contesting the presidential primaries under the APC.

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