Breaking News!!! Like A Phoenix, Hakeem Muri Okunola Becomes Lagos State Head Of Service

 Breaking News

Breaking News!!! Like A Phoenix, Hakeem Muri Okunola Becomes Lagos State Head Of Service

Breaking News!!! Like A Phoenix, Hakeem Muri Okunola Becomes Lagos State Head Of Service
December 30
12:42 2018

The official announcement has not been made as it is subject to the approval of the House of Assembly but The Capital can authoritatively confirm that super civil servant and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Hakeem Muri Okunola, is the new Head of Service, Lagos State. His appointment follows the statutory retirement of Mrs Folasade Sidikatu Adesoye, the 20th Head of Service (HOS).

By this appointment, HMO, as he is popularly known, becomes the youngest ever person to occupy such an exalted position in the history of the Nigerian civil service. He is 47. He also becomes the most powerful civil servant in the state. The Head of Service position was formerly combined with the Secretary to the State Government during the military regime and the appointed civil servant automatically becomes the Deputy Governor but the offices were separated in 1999. Had that tradition subsisted, HMO would have become the substantive Deputy Governor of Lagos State.

But it has not been a smooth ride for the urbane gentleman and son of the influential Justice Muritala Aremu Okunola who died in 2004. He has had his fair share of rough-handling from the outgoing Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, who felt he was too powerful or so and redeployed him to the Ministry of Sports ostensibly to render him powerless. HMO virtually disappeared from the social scene and never went near anything beyond his Ministry.

An alumnus of the University of Lagos where he read law and the University of London where he got his Masters in Business Law, HMO was employed as Company Secretary at the state-owned Ibile Holdings before he was headhunted by former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who made him his Personal Assistant.

He was later moved to the Ministry of Lands as Executive Secretary and later upgraded to Permanent Secretary. It was in this position he came into social, financial and political renown. His financial liquidity became a hot-button issue among bona fide money-men. He flourished unfettered under the administration of former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola who gave him a free hand to run the ministry.

However, Ambode felt otherwise about him and redeployed him to what the governor’s inner circle described as a desert. Fate has however conspired with HMO to outfox his adversaries. Now, like a phoenix, he has risen to the apogee of an exemplary civil service career.


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  1. Marianela Walke
    Marianela Walke January 01, 09:41

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