Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s latest appointment to head the Lagos State Safety Commission is a fugitive in the U.S. convicted for credit card fraud in 1992.
Hakeem Dickson, who worked as an internal auditor at the now defunct Nigeria Airways, was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment by a U.S. District Court in New Jersey, according to court documents published by Sahara Reporters.
“For 20 years, Defendant successfully evaded all United States government efforts to locate and arrest him,” read the judgment delivered by Judge Dickinson Debevoise.
“He has not served the 24 months sentence lawfully imposed upon him in June 1992.”
The Lagos State Safety Commission is an agency saddled with the responsibility of safety regulations and enforcement in the State.
Habib Aruna, Mr. Ambode’s Spokesperson, said he did not author the government’s statement and was not aware of Mr. Dickson’s conviction.
“I didn’t sign the statement, it was the HOS (Head of Service). Call them or the commissioner and let them respond,” Mr. Aruna told PREMIUM TIMES.
Phone calls and text message to Steve Ayorinde, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, were not responded to.
According to a statement by the Lagos State government, Mr. Dickson’s appointment was in line with Governor Ambode’s commitment to turn the agency around for optimal performance.
Mr. Dickson holds a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts from the Thomas A. Edison State College, Trenton, New Jersey U.S.A and two Masters Degrees in Business Administration specializing in Accounting and Finance respectively, both from the Fairleight Dickinson University, Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.
After his stint at the Nigeria Airways, Mr. Dickson had worked as an accountant, auditor, and tax adviser for Coopers and Lybrand, CPA in Newark, New Jersey in the United States.
He then returned to the country, contested and won an election as the Executive Chairman of the Surulere Local Government between 1988 and 1994.
He is currently the C.E.O of Citiwide Construction and Transport Nigeria Limited which specializes in the construction of roads and buildings.