President Muhammadu Buhari has allegedly sacked a top policy adviser, Lai Yahaya, earlier this month over allegations of providing internal State House information to an online newspaper.
Yahaya, a former adviser to the Nigerian presidency on electric power initiatives, was accused of being the central source for on story on PeoplesGazette, which exposed Bolaji, the son of Buhari’s Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari.
According to sources who spoke to PeoplesGazette, the former presidential aide has since left Nigeria for Europe amidst fears of further retribution.
Yahaya is a lawyer and sustainable energy consultant who previously worked at the State House until 2017 under late chief of staff Abba Kyari, following which he served as an adviser to Raila Odinga at the African Union.
Shortly after his appointment in May 2020, Ibrahim Gambari recalled Yahaya to the State House as the top adviser on power infrastructure, serving only a few months on the job before being sacked on false allegations.
“They said he leaked a story to your newspaper and they cannot work with him in confidence,” a presidency official said. “They tried over and again to get him to confess, saying that some details that were revealed in the story could only have been divulged by him.”
PeoplesGazette has denied Yahaya, a graduate of Oxford University’s Balliol College, played any role in the story that exposed Gambari’s son.
At issue was an October 2020 story that cast a spotlight on Bolaji Gambari as the new head of a cabal of administration associates inside the Presidential Villa. The report also detailed the exit of Farouk Gumel, another Aso Rock policy adviser and an influential part of the cabal that held sway under Mr. Kyari.
The Gazette had also accused the President Buhari administration of pressuring network service providers to cut off connections to its site.
At about 19:00 hrs local time on January 26, 2021, Peoples Gazette's website (https://t.co/wkUFy0ZN63) was hit by a coordinated disruption of service across all telecommunication networks in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/mSOVfLGFtf
— Peoples Gazette (@GazetteNGR) January 27, 2021