Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
10 Top Corruption Cases – and A “Cutlass” to Cut the Snake’s Head, Please !
Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD
Burtonsville, MD, USA
April 4, 2005
Since the beginning of this civilian regime of President Obasanjo in May 1999, at least ten high-profile cases of financial corruption in public affairs have come into full view:
1. 2002 – the N421 million case of Julius Makanjuola, a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, and Messrs R.O Igbasan, Iro Matazu, Rowland Okeke, and Rasaq Ayodele Ope;
2. 2003: The $214 million SAGEM/national ID card affair involving former Internal Affairs Minister, the late Chief Sunday Afolabi; former internal affairs minister Mohammed Shatta and former Labour Minister Alhaji Husseini Akwanga, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ms. Turie Akerele; all of who were accused of pocketing between $30,000 and $500,000 each. Former National Secretary of the People Democratic Party, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo and SAGEM S.A. Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Niyi Adelagun were all also involved;
3. May 2003: "improper payments" (amounting up to $2.4 million) to principal officials of the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service in years 2001 and 2002 by Halliburton, a United State's oil company, to obtain favourable tax treatment in Nigeria;
4. $180 million bribe by the four-company consortium of Halliburton's Kellog Brown and Root, Technip of France, Snamprogetti SpA of Italy and Japan Gasoline Corporation, to win a lucrative contract to build a large liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny.
MONDAY QUARTERBACKING: Two Strikes Against Halliburton in Nigeria
Running News on Halliburton in Nigeria
5. The N38 billion-COJA (8th All Africa Games) of October 4-18, 2003: COJA chieftains and their romance with German auto industry, BMW, in preference to the local assembly plant, PAN; as well as the company JVC through Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) winning a contract for $21million and later having it re-awarded to Ace Computers/Thompson Broadcast International System for $51million without invalidating the first contract; with an allegation that one of such contracts was said to have been awarded to a company owned by Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, the said contract awarded for N6 billion for furniture for the Games Village. This cost Ben Murray-Bruce his NTA Directorship job. It was preceded by a mass seizure by the SSS of TELL’s June 30, 2003 edition with the headline “Scandal in Aso Rock: Anti-Corruption Campaign, A Fraud”.
The First Lady Stella Obasanjo is currently in court, having sued TheNews magazine for libel over the affair.
6. Governor Joshua Dariye and his million dollars in Britain, Plateau State and elsewhere;
The Case Against Dariye (Two Letters from President Obasanjo and from the Attorney General Olujinmi)
7. Governor Alamieyesiegha and his billion-naira contracts in Bayelsa State;
Bayelsa Government Sues Uwais
Between Alamieyeseigha and the ICPC
8. 2004: IG Tafa Balogun financial corruption of over N13 billion;
9. 2005: The Education Ministry’s Bribe-for-Budget involving Prof. Osuji, Senate President Nwabara and others
10. 2005: The Ikoyi Housing Scandal involving Minister Mobolaji Osomo and others.
It is important that we follow each one closely, and vow not to be overwhelmed by the seeming inexorable news of corruption that come from our dear country, with the hope that inattention will drive people to turn their minds away.
The last three cases have gotten the attention of the president Obasanjo lately, particularly the last one that involves quite a number of his own family (including First Lady Stella, who he should consequently step down to simply “First Wife”) so much so that he has now wielded his “cutlass” (apologies to George Ayittey) to begin to cut the snake of corruption that bedevils our country. We find that Osomo has been fired, as well as Osuji. Wabara is on his way out as Senate President and is already asking for medical dispensation if and when he is jailed; and Tafa Balogun has been handcuffed in broad daylight !
So far, these three cases are being handled beautifully, although systemic institutional devices of PREVENTING these abuses in the first instance are still being awaited.
So what about the other cases of corruption ? Let us take them seriatim – but in reverse order:
1. Okay, we know that Section 308 still protects Governors Dariye and Alamieyesegha: but what about all those others who allegedly helped them in their nefarious activities: are they protected by Section 308 too ? To kill the snake, we need not just chop the head but its mid-section and tail too – we need to chase the trail of corruption to ensure that lower-down officials as well as bank managers know that they too face jail time when the bosses and their clients asks them to join in the corruption and they comply. [And while at it, the president should send an executive bill to amend/end Section 308.]
2. What has happened to Dr. Amos Adamu who was Head of COJA ?
3. What happened to the people that Halliburton &Co. bribed for LNG plant and for favorable tax treatment ? If the SEC in US and its sister organization in Europe have fined Halliburton and co, what are we doing in Nigeria ? Why haven’t we fined these companies too ?
4. Okay, we know that Chief SM Afolabi (RIP) is dead, but Shatta, Akwanga, Mrs. Turie Akerele, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo and Niyi Adelagun are still living: what about them ?
5. Finally, Julius Makanjuola, R.O Igbasan, Iro Matazu, Rowland Okeke, and Rasaq Ayodele Ope nko ? What about them ?
We are all eyes and ears, as inquiring minds want to know.
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.