Since his appointment as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the very cerebral Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo has never hidden his total commitment to excel on the job and possibly surpass the records of his predecessors at the Amnesty Office.
To this end, the Coordinator has been very receptive to anyone he believes could help him succeed. Amnesty Office sources say this desperation to succeed at all costs may have landed Prof. Dokubo in a peculiar mess.
Not a few staff of the Amnesty Office have been whispering, rather loudly, about the overbearing presence of a lady they identified as Tahirah Ikharo around Prof. Dokubo and the Amnesty Office at large.
Amnesty Office sources say the lady resumes at the office and closes with Dokubo and that she frequently interferes in official and confidential activities in the Office.
Staff members who are now complaining about the larger-than-life presence of Tahirah Ikharo around the Amnesty Office say the lady wormed her way into Prof. Dokubo’s consciousness by purporting to be the Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
A civil servant at the Amnesty Office described Ikharo as “extremely streetwise” and that she capitalized on Prof. Dokubo’s little knowledge of the workings of the Presidential Villa to evade being caught as a mere name dropper seeking to further her pecuniary interests at the Amnesty Office, albeit dubiously.
The senior civil servant, who did not want his name mentioned, queried: “Shockingly, Professor Dokubo introduces her to most of us at the Amnesty Office and to other persons as the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Niger Delta.
But we started suspecting that something may well be wrong about the lady when we noticed that she now practically lives in the Amnesty Office.
She goes everywhere with the Coordinator. Don’t they have work to do in the Office of the Vice President, if indeed she works there?”
Our investigation has revealed that there is indeed cause for apprehension by staff members at the Amnesty Office that Ikharo could well be a name dropper and possibly scheming to dupe the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Weeks of investigations have shown that Ikharo blatantly lied to Professor Dokubo when she introduced herself as the Special Assistant to the Vice President on Niger Delta Affairs. She is not. Indeed, no one bears that title in the Office of the Vice President. Rather, Edobor Iyamu is the Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs in the Office of the Vice President.
Findings in the office of the Vice President indicated that the only contact Ikharo has with the Office of the Vice President is her stint with a donor funded Agency that assists the Niger Delta New Vision initiative that is domiciled in the Office of Iyamu.
A staff in the Vice President’s Office said: “I know the lady, I know Tahirah, she is not a staff of the Office of the Vice President. But I believe she worked as a consultant of sorts for the Niger Delta New Vision initiative which the SSA on Niger Delta Affairs, Iyamu coordinates. That is all I know about her.”
Worse still, even when Ikharo claims to be from Edo State, staff members at the Amnesty Office insist she may not even be a Nigerian. “She speaks English with a deep south African accent and her physique is unmistakably South African,” a security detail at the Amnesty Office told newsmen.
“There is something fishy about that woman abeg,” the security detail added.
There are fears that Ikharo’s continued presence around Prof. Dokubo may soon snowball into a major scandal given insinuations around the office that the lady currently goes about telling contractors that she could help them secure contracts at the Amnesty Office and some alleging she is “dating” the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Office.
However, many Amnesty Office staff vigorously denied that Professor Dokubo has that kind of relationship with Ikharo. “Prof. is a very decent man, Tahirah is just taking advantage of the Coordinator’s rather obvious desire to share experiences or compare notes with anyone who has anything to do with the Niger Delta.
She knew that once she claimed she was an Adviser to the Vice President on Niger Delta, Professor Dokubo would certainly welcome her with open arms,” a source at the Amnesty Office disclosed.