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BREAKING: Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Short-Lived NCC Chair, Has Died

 Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye
 Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye

August 24, (THEWILL) – The controversially removed Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Fourth Republic lawmaker, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, is dead.

He was 88.

Durojaiye, a former Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday in a Lagos hospital after a brief illness, which has been speculated to be COVID-19.

Ironically, his five-year but short-lived tenure at the NCC would have ended this month, having been appointed to the position on August 2, 2016.

Disgraced from office by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NCC last year’s February, two years short of his five-year tenure, Durojaiye led much of his life as a lawyer and banker before embracing politics in the Third Republic.

Durojaiye’s unceremonious sack from the NCC board for officially unstated reasons drew the ire of the public, with Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West) kicking on the floor of the Senate.

Adeola lamented that Durojaiye was disallowed to complete his five years tenure as Chairman before being summarily kicked out and replaced by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “The former Chairman, who is one of our own, a distinguished Senator served for just three years before he was sacked. He was not allowed to resign or complete his tenure. Rather, than just being sacked and embarrassed, I think he should have been allowed to honourably resign than for him to hear about his removal in the media.”

Such pleas that Durojaiye be allowed to resign honourably in order not to mar his enviable career path fell on the President’s deaf ears.

Durojaiye became a presidential aspirant in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992.

Born 1933 in Ogun, Durojaiye had earned a B.Sc. (Economics) London, and an LLB, London.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1979.

A Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Justice, Durojaiye also had some leadership training at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.

He worked for 35 years in the Nigerian public sector, including 28 years as a Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Mint.

He also worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Federal Reserve System in the U.S.A and the City University London between 1964 and 1982.

The Fourth Republic lawmaker was an elected Member of the 1988/89 Constituent Assembly.

In December 1996, Durojaiye was arrested by the military regime of General Sani Abacha, and was imprisoned for 560 days.

After taking his seat at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999-2003), he was appointed to the committees on Judiciary, Establishment (Chairman) and Special Projects.

His wife Florence died in 2009, at the age of 72, two months after they marked their 50th anniversary.