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29 September 2016

Buhari sacks deputy director over plagiarism of Obama’s speech

BuhariThe Presidency will this week transfer a deputy director, blamed for the plagiarism of U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech, out of the State House, Abuja.

The presidency had on Friday blamed the yet-to-be-named deputy director for the scandal that has embarrassed the Nigerian government.

“Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph,” Garba Shehu, Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, said in a statement on Friday.

“The Presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.

“This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted,” he added.

The official will start facing disciplinary proceedings in accordance with civil service rules today (Monday), presidency sources said.

But he will first be directed to vacate his seat at the president’s office, officials have told PREMIUM TIMES.

The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Jalal Arabi, is expected to query the official and then refer his case to the Head of Service for further actions, our sources said.

The unnamed official has been blamed for tinkering with a speech prepared for President Buhari, plagiarising a famous speech Mr. Obama delivered when he was elected the first black President of the United States.

The plagiarism was first detected by THISDAY Newspaper and Mr. Buhari apologised for the “wrongful insertion”Friday night.

PREMIUM TIMES sources said the official committed the embarrassing act after Mr. Buhari’s speech had already been vetted by officials at the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration.

Presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina, and Garba Shehu, did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES requests for comments on the disciplinary actions being taken against the deputy director.

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