Massive corruption at all levels of the Nigerian Government —US report

US Secretary of States, Hillary Clinton

The American government says there’s “massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption” at all levels of the Nigerian government and the security forces.

Just as the Goodluck Jonathan administration is facing mounting scrutiny at home over an illegal payment of N155 billion to cronies and associates of government officials on a presidential order, the United States of America has delivered a stringent critique of the government’s anti-graft effort.

In its year 2011 report on global human rights released Thursday by the State Department, the U.S. said the three tiers of the Nigerian government was ridden  with “massive, widespread and pervasive corruption,” that failed to receive appropriate punitive response from the authorities.

“The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity,” the report, submitted by Secretary of States, Hillary Clinton, to the U.S. Congress said.

“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security forces,” it continued.

The report, an X-ray of human rights abuses ranging from extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, free press abuses, to cases of graft worldwide, comes as the Jonathan administration is being linked to a scandalous funneling of public funds to shady associates of officials, amid multiple cases of official corruption in the fuel subsidy and pension funds unearthed by the National Assembly.

In details published by this website, partly based on court papers from the US state of New York and PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation of the deal, Mr. Jonathan allegedly authorized the illegal transfer of N155 billion to a former petroleum minister, Dan Etete, convicted of money laundering.

The elaborate corruption scheme, also involving two government ministers, those for Justice and Finance (minister of state) – Mohammed Adoke and Yerima Ngama, triggered multiple disbursement of the money into several account held by figures linked to government officials.

Since the stories broke out this week, government officials have maintained a defeaning silence, refusing to explain their roles in the scandal.

The disclosures came as the government faced growing calls from opposition, rights group, and the media for the prosecution of officials indicted in the fuel subsidy fraud involving more than N2 trillion.

This week, the president has ordered that the monumental fraud uncovered produced by the House of Representatives be re-investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), fuelling concerns those indicted may never face justice after all.

The details of the US report cover between January and December 2011. It hammered on the administration’s penchant for allowing impunity, and letting indicted officials off the hook, affirming public concern about government’s resolve to punish official theft.

The report described the anti-corruption effort of the Farida Waziri-led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) as “largely ineffectual” and cited the corruption in the judiciary and the police.

Mrs. Waziri was removed on November 23, 2011 by President Jonathan based on what the report says were “credible allegations” that she was engaged in corrupt practices.

“Citizens encountered long delays and alleged requests from judicial officials for bribes to expedite cases or obtain favourable rulings,” it said.

Police corruption remained rampant, particularly at highway checkpoints. Police routinely stopped drivers who did not commit traffic infractions, refusing to allow them to continue until they paid bribes.”

The report named typical celebrated high profile arrest that had more political undertone than real motive to deliver justice, decrying the endless legal voyage such cases usually follow with no fruitful end.

“On October 26, the Code of Conduct Tribunal commenced the trial of former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who allegedly failed to disclose multiple foreign bank accounts he operated while serving as governor. There was no decision in the case by year’s end,” it said.

It mentioned all high profile arrests involving past governors and lawmakers, and particularly cited the refusal of the government to try former military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida for corruption.

“In August 2010 Attorney General Mohammed Adoke announced that the government could not authenticate the Pius Okigbo Panel report on former military president and General Ibrahim Babangida, which charged that Babangida mismanaged 12.4 billion naira ($76 million) during his administration.

“The civil society group Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) accused the attorney general of a cover-up. A federal high court was scheduled to announce a ruling on July 28, but did not do so by year’s end.”

-Premium Times

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16 Comments

  • Revelation or Revolution in Nigeria. It seems God want to do something spectacular in this great country this year. He made them to make mistakes by listening to the US and remove subsidy from fuel.

    Government will be silent now bcos they’re not given titles or awards – they’ve been INDICTED. MR President, REUBEN ABATI, ADOKE and other cronies should say something at least to better their chances in 2015 bcos i believed they’ve made-up their mind to go for 2nd or 3rd term.

    God’ll surely deliver common man from evil leaders, from all tiers of government and helps to sanitise our society.

  • Democracy. Defn: govt of d ppl, by d ppl n 4 d ppl.Nigerian defn: govt dat promises roads, education, healthcare, jobs, e.t.c so that they can steal public funds and not account for it. Where are the elites?

  • I believe oneday a reasonable group wil comeup & operate not like boko haram dat kills innocent, hungry, defencless pple, bt a group dat wil fight 4 d pple by assasinatin, attackin, kidnappin those who steal 4rm us all amen.

  • America should shut up for once and take care of the corruption in their own country. The truth is: There is corruption is every nation of the world; so stop shouting Nigeria and diverting ears from the corruption in your own area.

  • Yes Nigeria is corrupt and synonymous with corruption, but America is not in any position to publish a policy statement about us. May be they are targeting us like Libya. God forbid! How corrupt was America @ 52? They must know we are trying to catch up and proffer aid, not condemnation or this is their ploy to substantiate how they corrupt mindedly denied Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala her rightful position in the World Bank? America should Shut Up and mind their country. Busy bodies.

  • until Nigerians become united n put aside religious sentiments by fighting, revolting and demonstrating against the government as one corruption will neva stop. This government is playing ova our intelligence n putting our posterity to danger.

  • Speechless,God knows best,i hand over this country to the Almighty God,as for our curupt leaders,Karma will take its course on them very soon,what ever one sows,that he will surely reap one day,its a question of time.lets just individually do the best we can to lift up Nigeria to a greather and better Level and live the rest for divine spirit to take control.one Love Friends.

  • kachy and harry , you guyz no nothing and just blabbing, do you think you can compare the level of corruption in nigeria to the US.

  • @Rolly644 u most be a dumb, the topic here is about the level of corruption within Nigerian government and u are talking about B.H. Dont u think that the corruption level is worsening the B.H operation. pls if u dont have any things related to the topic to say pls keep shot.
    It embarrassing to read all this facts about the country.

    @Amazworld, emphasis on the facts that has just being pointed out. This people should be made to account for all those money. They are thieves. Unless u want to join them, poor man

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