Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
The Politics Of Nigerian Corruption
culled from BBC News, November 9, 2006
low-level corruption is visible on the street; policeman extorting money from
motorists to supplement their meagre wages.
is in the world of politics and government, where corruption has been most
decades the government has accrued huge oil revenues, yet the country suffers
from a lack of basic infrastructure, and tens of millions live in poverty.
same time, some politicians and their business associates have amassed personal
accusations of graft have long been a feature of Nigerian politics, as elections
approach early next year, the politics of corruption have taken on a new
past four years, the fight against corruption in
The agency has had some successes, and Mr Ribadu has been praised both at home
says in the past two years it has recovered more than $5bn and has successfully
prosecuted 82 people.
taken on internet crime and fraudsters. It has gone after a former chief of
police, a government minister and an impeached state governor.
despite highly publicised raids and investigations, when it comes to
prosecutions, it is usually the lower level officials, businessmen and
fraudsters who end up being convicted.
that is because some political offices, such as state governors and the
president, carry immunity from prosecution.
election campaigns get under way, President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that
he will use all legal means to stop "criminals and crooks" from taking the
reigns of power in Nigeria.
recent interview, Mr Ribadu pledged to stop corrupt politicians running for
are improving marginally now. But if you bring somebody who is a thief, they
will feast on this money and take
anti-corruption agency is persistently accused of only going after opponents of
President Obasanjo, a charge Mr Ribadu denies.
elections approach, new EFCC investigations and the accusations of political
bias, are coming thick and fast.
in response, the agency recently raided the offices of the new Nigerian
corporation, Transcorp, which has close links to the president.
raid is unlikely to satisfy the critics.
Privately, supporters of Mr Ribadu say he is going after those he is allowed to,
while building up dossiers on others who, for now, are "protected".
The latest and most serious contender to be scrutinised is Vice-President Atiku
Abubakar, who fell out publicly with the president when he opposed the campaign
to allow Mr Obasanjo to run for a third term in office.
vice-president is one of the leading candidates for the top job in next year's
elections, but in a recent report by the EFCC, he is accused of fraud involving
more than $100m in public funds.
accusation he flatly denies.
he is the victim of a political conspiracy.
President Obasanjo used the report to form an Administrative Panel of Inquiry,
consisting of a number of government ministers to indict the vice-president.
Crucially, under the constitution anyone indicted by an Administrative Panel is
barred from running for high office.
If this tactic is pursued, the legitimacy of the president's panel looks set to
be the subject of a fierce legal battle.
generally, a lot will depend on the government-appointe
decide to bar any of the big candidates from the race, either at the state or
national level, there is the risk it would provoke violence.
would be particularly dangerous in a country, which after decades of military
rule, is struggling to keep ethnic and religious divisions in check.
to people on the street in
are desperate to see Nigerian politics cleaned up and very few politicians are
considered to be clean.
Ultimately that is the real dilemma.
country where corruption is seen as endemic, an anti-corruption campaign used
selectively as a political weapon is likely to provoke a bitter fight amongst
the political elite.
in turn, could impact on
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.