Dimeji Bankole

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Oladimeji Sabur Bankole
Oladimeji Sabur Bankole.jpg
Honourable Representative
In office
April 2003 – 29 May 2011
Preceded by Laoshe Abraham Lanre, Alliance for Democracy
Succeeded by Mr. Williams Olusegun, Action Congress of Nigeria
Constituency Abeokuta South Federal Constituency
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria
In office
1 November 2007 – 29 May 2011
Deputy Usman Bayero Nafada
Preceded by Patricia Etteh
Succeeded by Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
Personal details
Born 14 November 1969
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Nationality Nigerian
Political party People's Democratic Party (PDP)
Spouse(s) Olaitan Bankole
Alma mater Baptist Boys High School
Albany College
Reading University (BA)
Oxford University (MTQ)
Harvard University (MPA)
Profession Businessman and economist
Religion Islam

Sabur[1] Oladimeji "Dimeji" Bankole (born 14 November 1969) is a Nigerian politician and 9th Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria. Elected at the age of 37,[2] Bankole is the youngest Speaker in the history of the House.[3]

Early life, education and career[edit]

The son of Abeokuta chief, Alani Bankole, he was a businessman before being elected to the House. A Muslim[4] Egba,[5] Bankole was born in Abeokuta in what is now Ogun State on 14 November 1969. His parents are Alani Bankole, a businessman, former National Vice-Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)[5] and Seriki Jagunmolu of Egbaland, and his wife, Atinuke Bankole, Ekerin Iyalode of Egbaland.[4]

Newspaper Thisday identifies Bankole's education as such: Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta starting 1979; Albany College, London, England, starting 1985; University of Reading, Reading, England, starting 1989; University of Oxford's Officer Training College, Oxford, England, in 1991; and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, in 2005.[4]

Bankole obtained a Master of Public Administration degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA in 2005. .[6] In 2014, he became a Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA.

Bankole states he never went to Sandhurst military academy but only took courses for military officers at Oxford University where he was in the Artillery Corps.[7]

Bankole is a polo player, and is a member of the Lagos Polo Club, where his position is defence.[4] He also enjoys football.[8]

Bankole was the Director of Freight Agencies Nigeria Limited from 1995 until 1998, Executive Director of Operations of West African Aluminium Products Limited from 1998 until 2004, and Director of ASAP Limited from 2000 until 2003.[4] He is also an economist.[9]

House of Representatives of Nigeria[edit]

In 2002, Bankole was elected to the House of Representatives on the People's Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to represent the Abeokuta South Federal Constituency of Ogun State. He was Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance while Aminu Bello Masari was Speaker,[10] (Farouk Lawan was Chairman of the committee)[9] and was also previously Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport.[10] Other committees he has sat on are the panels on Defence, Internal Affairs and Banking, and Currency.[8]

Bankole was re-elected in April 2007.[4] He considers his legislative interests to be those related to defence and finance.[11]

Speaker of the House[edit]

In September 2007, a committee questioned Speaker Patricia Etteh about her spending of ₦628 million ($4.8m) on home renovation and automobiles. She denied wrongdoing, but many representatives were unhappy with her attempts to defend herself, blows were traded on the floor of the House, and Etteh had to be escorted from the chamber.[12] Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and many top PDP members continued to back her,[13] but a large segment of the party, led by Lawan and including Bankole, called for her resignation.[10] It was reported that Bankole, among multiple other contenders, hoped to succeed her as early as 5 October 2007.[14]

After Etteh's resignation from the post on 30 October (along with her deputy, who was also caught up in the scandal),[15] Integrity Group (anti-Etteh) member Terngu Tsegba became interim speaker.[8]


On 1 November, he was elected to succeed Etteh.[10] The election began at 10.30am. The House was short of the statutory 360 members because three (Moses Segun Oladimeji, Joe Anota and Aminu Shuaibu Safana) died. Two constituencies were yet to elect their representatives. 328 of the 355 members voted.[16] Samson Osagie of Edo State nominated Bankole for the post of Speaker, and Lynda Ikpeazu of Anambra State seconded the proposal. His challenger was Osun State Representative George Jolaoye, whom he beat by 304 votes to 20 (and 4 abstentions). Etteh was among those who voted against Bankole.[2] The new deputy speaker was Usman Bayero Nafada.[10] Bankole was declared speaker at 1.30pm.[16]

In his acceptance speech, entitled "We Stand Upon The Threshold of History",[16] Bankole said "I am taking over the mantle of leadership at a very difficult time. But these are hard times, we need to build confidence again and assure the populace that we are still their representatives. I want an independent house that Nigerians will be proud of, this is my first task."[8]


One week after his election, political opponents claimed that Bankole had not completed his National Youth Service Corps (N.Y.S.C) service, which is mandatory for all Nigerian university graduates under thirty years of age when they graduate, and called for his resignation over the issue.[17] Bankole provided his N.Y.S.C discharge certificate, ending the rumour.[18] On 22 June 2010,Bankole suspended 11 members of parliament indefinitely for disorderliness and fighting in the house.[19]

Return of Unspent Funds by Government Ministries[edit]

During his tenure, the House of Representatives as a result of performance of its oversight function ensured that Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA's) returned unspent budgeted funds amounting to about 450 billion naira to the government treasury in 2007 while about 350 billion naira was again recovered in 2008.[20] In total, the House of Representatives ensured the return of about 1 trillion naira unspent funds by MDA's as part of the annual budgetary process under Bankole's speakership. These were unprecedented in the history of oversight in Nigeria’s legislature. Up until then, MDA's did not return unspent funds. Also, the House of Representatives discovered that about 5 trillion naira generated revenue were never remitted by MDA's for the past 5 years before investigation.[21]

Termination of Inflated Abuja Runway Contract[edit]

Under Bankole, the 64 billion naira contract for the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja was investigated and found to be grossly inflated. The contract was thus terminated by the Federal Government of Nigeria.[22]


Under him, the House of Representatives accepted 328 motions, approved 282 resolutions and passed 136 bills. These bills include the Freedom of Information(FOI) Act and Fiscal Responsibility Act which ensured that all revenue-generating agencies of government present their budgets for scrutiny every year. The agencies, which include the CBN, NNPC and Customs spent trillions of naira yearly without appropriation by the National Assembly.[21]


In 2011, Bankole was tried by Nigeria's anti-corruption agency [23][24] and was cleared of all charges.[25]


  1. ^ Also Saburi.
  2. ^ a b Ojo, James (2 November 2007). "Reps get 37-year-old bachelor as speaker". The Sun News On-line (The Sun Publishing). Retrieved 3 November 2007. [dead link]
  3. ^ Bulacan, Annabella (1 November 2007). "Nigeria Parliament Elects New Speaker of the House". AHN (AHN Media). Retrieved 6 November 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Sowunmi, Idowu (2 November 2007). "Bankole the Son…". Thisday online (Leaders & Company). Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Adebayo, Moshood (2 November 2007). "Dimeji can't afford to fail – Father". The Sun News On-line (The Sun Publishing). Retrieved 3 November 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Nigeria: Race for House Speaker – Bankole Leads the Pack". All Africa.com. 1 November 2007. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  7. ^ "Speaker Dimeji Bankole Makes Public His NYSC Discharge Certificate". Nigerian Muse. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c d Shehu, Mohammed S; Nasiru L. Abubakar (3 November 2007). "Speakership: How Reps defied PDP". Daily Trust online. Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Nwankwo, Chiawo (1 November 2007). "S'West Reps: Jostling for Etteh’s seat". The Punch online. Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Ukusanren, Tuoyo (2 November 2007). "The man Dimeji Bankole, new Speaker N-Assembly". Vanguard Online Edition (Vanguard Media Limited). Retrieved 3 November 2007.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "v" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  11. ^ "Honourable Bankole Dimeji". National Assembly of Nigeria. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  12. ^ "Nigerian MPs brawl over speaker". BBC News. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  13. ^ Nyam, Philip. "Etteh: Countdown To October 16". Leadership (Leadership Newspapers Group). Retrieved 14 October 2007. 
  14. ^ Sanni, Olusola (5 October 1007). "N628m: Who Blinks First?". Nigerian Tribune online (African Newspapers of Nigeria). Retrieved 3 November 2007. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Nigeria speaker goes in graft row". BBC News. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2007. 
  16. ^ a b c Ibrahim, Lateef (2 November 2007). "PDP loses battle to choose Speaker". The Nation Archive (Vintage Press Limited). Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Clottey, Peter (8 November 2007). "Nigeria Opponents Accuse New Parliament Speaker of Dodging Youth Service". Voice of America news (Broadcasting Board of Governors). Archived from the original on 15 November 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2007. 
  18. ^ "Nigeria's Reps Speaker Reacts on NYSC Saga". Leadership online (Leadership Newspapers Group). Retrieved 17 November 2007. 
  19. ^ The Guardian newspaper, Thursday, 24 June 2010, page 8
  20. ^ PONG, JOAL. "Analysis of the 2007-2011 session of the National Assembly". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Stewardship: How Bankole stands at point of exit". Nigerian Tribune On-line (The Nigerian Tribune). 25 May 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Three years of Bankole’s highs, lows". Weekly Trust. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Bankole to appear in court today". Nigerian News Service Online Edition. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "Taking loans cannot amount to illegal means (1)". The Guardian Online Edition. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Nigerian ex-speaker Dimeji Bankole cleared of fraud". BBC News. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.