President Bola Tinubu has appointed Michael Achimugu, a former aide to ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as the director of public affairs and consumer protection at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
This appointment comes just days after Tinubu approved the removal of all directors of agencies in the aviation ministry, aiming to revamp the sector for improved safety and efficiency.
Achimugu, known for his accusations against Atiku of corruption and financial impropriety, was a vocal critic of his former boss during the 2023 presidential campaign.
He claimed Atiku used “Special Purpose Vehicles” for financial fraud and urged Nigerians not to vote for him.
“There are basically two reasons which I have repeated over and over on social media. First is that young persons like myself who served politicians will never again be taken for granted. Second, it is to warn Nigerians and educate them before the elections to prevent them from making the greatest mistake ever,” he said.
These accusations, although not fully investigated, prompted Festus Keyamo, the current aviation minister, who was a spokesperson for Tinubu’s campaign council, to petition anti-graft agencies for Atiku’s arrest on charges of money laundering and breach of conduct. However, the matter fizzled out following Atiku’s defeat in the presidential election.
Until his recent appointment, Achimugu was the special assistant on customer relations and special assistant on media to Keyamo.
Achimugu’s sudden appointment leaves room for speculation. Some see it as a reward for his loyalty to Tinubu in the elections, while others question the ethics of appointing someone based on pre-election accusations that weren’t definitively proven.