FACT CHECK: No, Obi was not the first governor to be reinstated after impeachment

Lanre Olagunju

Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, in an interview on Channels  Television, made a few claims which have now been subjected to research and verification. 

On Monday, July 25, Peter Obi was a guest on Politics Today, a live interview programme on Channels TV. Obi, while responding to questions from the anchor, Seun Okinbaloye, Obi made a couple of claims that raised more questions.

Claim 1: “I’m the first governor to be impeached and reclaimed the mandate in Nigeria,” Obi said during the live interview broadcast.

Background

In 2003, Obi lost the gubernatorial election in Anambra as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) party. Chris Ngige of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The court of appeal overturned Ngige’s victory three years later. Obi was reinstated and became governor of the state on March 17, 2006.

After seven months in office, Obi was impeached by the state house of assembly on November 2, 2006. He was replaced by his deputy, Virginia Etiaba.

Obi challenged the impeachment and was reinstated by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on February 9, 2007.

Verification

CheckNaija searched through the political history of Nigeria to highlight former governors who have been impeached and those who were reinstated. 

Our search revealed that Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna during the second republic was impeached in 1981. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa was also impeached in 2005. 

Furthermore, in the year 2006 alone, four governors were impeached and they include Rashidi Ladoja, former governor of Oyo; Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti; Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra and Joshua Dariye, former governor of Plateau.

Murtala Nyako, former governor of Adamawa was impeached in 2014.

Of all the impeached former governors, Rashidi Lodoja, who was impeached on January 12, 2006, was reinstated in November 2006, after which he resumed officially on December 12, 2006.

Verdict: Ladoja, not Obi was the first governor to be impeached and reinstated in Nigeria. Obi’s claim is not accurate. 

Claim 2:  “Out of 150 NBA players, more than 100 are Nigerians,” Obi said while responding to questions on his plans for the youth and the unemployment challenge facing the nation.

“I am very deliberate about the youths because the youths are our greatest assets. This country has enormous energy and talent within the youths that we need to explore to turn around the country,” Obi said. 

“Look at what has just happened in this sporting issue, with Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume look at what they have done, and how they are making the country proud, celebrating their talent, and that is what we have everywhere. If you go into the American NBA, out of 150 players almost 100 are Nigerians.” 

The NBA is a professional basketball league formed in the United States. It is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada and is composed of 29 teams in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The league was founded in New York City in 1946, as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). 

Three years later, it changed its name to the National Basketball Association after merging with the competing National Basketball League (NBL). 

In 1976, the NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA) merged. NBA players are among the world’s best-paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

Thorough research into the list of NBA players in the 2022-2023 season, as published by realgm.com, a sports website.  The search revealed that there are only ten Nigerian players in the NBA. 

The players include; Precious Achiuwa, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Udoka Azubuike, Charles Bassey, Chimezie Metu, Chima Moneke, Monte Morris, Josh Okogie and Gabe Vincent

Verdict: The claim that out of 150 players in the NBA, 100 are Nigerians is false.

 

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