Former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Bayo Onanuga, who is also the Spokesman of President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has come under the searchlight of a Twitter handle which alleged that he (Bayo), embezzled funds meant for the effective administration of NAN while he held sway as boss.
The Twitter handle @pidomnigeria which prides itself as an “investigative Journalist” that is engaged in “providing credible and reliable info” for which it is “hated by Nigeria security agencies”, further alleged that Bayo also confiscated property of NAN, especially motor vehicles which he allegedly auctioned to cronies in shadowy circumstances.
The Twitter update also alleged that Bayo used Access and Zenith bank accounts of NAN to divert government revenue to his private purse, adding that the matter was brought before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has remained silent over the petition.
Mr Ononuga was also alleged to have frustrated the payment of annual rents of NAN zonal offices by allegedly embezzling funds made available for same.
The Twitter handle further alleged that Bayo was later chased out of NAN by a combined force of unions in the sector, adding that the workers ensured his tenure was not renewed at NAN.
The Twitter update has, as of press time, received more than three hundred thousand views and retweeted 4,979 times, with 127 bookmarking it for future reference.
The tweets read: “Bayo Onanuga (@aonanuga1956) is a desperate thief. As MD of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) between 2016-2019, he used the following NAN Bizcom Accounts, Access Bank 0016628258 and Zenith Bank 1012782058, to divert government revenues into his pocket. @officialEFCC should verify.
“He auctioned official vehicles belonging to NAN, to himself and some of his co-corrupt management staff of the agency, through a dubious auction process which violates Federal Government of Nigeria Financial rules. Unions under his agency had to petition FG and copy EFCC due to his high level of corruption.
“Those unions are the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Radio Television Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government Owned Companies, (SSACGOC). They all accused Bayo Onanuga of open stealing, diversion, misappropriation of government and agency funds, high level of corruption, high-handedness, and lack of basic knowledge, to manage an agency.
“These unions are still there, up till date, Nigerians can do their own findings. Don’t forget, Bayo Onanuga, @aonanuga1956, was nominated for the post of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Managing Director (MD) by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. That is why he is fighting dirty for him.
“The donations NAN got during their 40th anniversary; Bayo Onanuga diverted it into his personal pocket, without giving account, or reasonable explanation, up till date. We are talking about hundreds of millions of naira. Nigerians can go and verify.