Tag Archives: corruption

Africa’s Richest Dictators


http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2011/11/08/who-were-africas-richest-dictators/

Mobutu Sese Seko, Abacha and Babangida are there…

Wikileaks Alleges Corruption by Okonjo-Iweala, Obasanjo, El-Rufai


Ribadu claims Corruption Under Obasanjo was worse than under Abacha: http://allafrica.com/stories/201109050804.html

Yar’Adua allegedly bribed Supreme Court: http://allafrica.com/stories/201109090687.html

Alleged Corruption by Okonjo-Iweala and El-Rufai: http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20110910317779

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fist Fight in Nigerian National Assembly – “Dimeji Bankole-Gate”


Disgraceful scenes from the National Assembly in Abuja. A fight broke out in Nigerian parliament after 11 legislators were suspended for accusing the House of Representatives Speaker (Dimeji Bankole) of corruption. The legislators called themselves “The Progressives”, and demanded an investigation into allegations that Speaker Oladimeji Bankole misappropriated 9 billion naira equivalent of an 11 billion budget from 2008 to 2009.  The 11 suspended are:

Dino Melaye, Ehiogie West Idahosa, Independence Ogunewe, Solomon Awhinawi, Austin Nwachukwu and Abbas Anas, Gbenga Oduwaiye, Kayode Amusan, Gbenga Onigbogi, Bitrus Kaze and Doris Uboh.

The EFCC has promised an investigation into the corruption allegations. But we all know what happens to “official investigations” into corruption in Nigeria…

Note that the second video refers to Nigeria as “one of the world’s most tainted countries”.

Pause for thought here….the political crisis that led to Nigeria’s first military coup in 1966 was precipitated by a similarly ugly fistfight in the Western Region House of Assembly between supporters of Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Ladoke Akintola. The fallout from that fistfight resulted in a state of emergency being declared in the Western Region, a virtual army of occupation being sent there, and a few years later, the army struck.  Akintola and many others involved in the crisis were killed by the army in January 1966.

Remember remember, the 15th of January…..

“Dirty Money” – Australian Involvement in Nigerian Corruption


http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20100524/money/

More tales of corruption. This is a “Four Corners” documentary by Australia’s ABC network allegedly that an Australian currency company (called Securency) was involved in bribing foreign countries (including Nigeria) and providing them with prostitutes.  Apparently bribes were paid to facilitate a deal with the Central Bank of Nigeria.  Full documentary at the link above, and preview video below.

James Ibori Arrested in Dubai


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8680569.stm

The latest in the long running saga of former Delta State Governor James Ibori is that he has been arrested in Dubai. It will be recalled that Ibori has been wanted for some time on allegations that he is wanted for massive corruption. He was arrested by the EFCC in 2007 in an incident that caused the head of the EFCC Nuhu Ribadu to be removed, then dismissed from the police force. After Ribadu’s removal the charges against the well connected Ibori suddenly went cold and he was released and not tried. Ribadu was hounded out of the country and fled in fear of his safety.

Ibori was a close associate (and alleged financier) of former President Yar’Adua. He was thought untouchable due to his closeness to the President.  Now that Yar’Adua has died, Ibori is suddenly vulnerable. The new President Goodluck Jonathan has been reshuffling the cabinet and sidelining Yar’Adua loyalists like the former Attorney-General Michael Aondoakaa whose intervention saved Ibori from prosecution and trial many times. A few weeks ago, the police was ordered to find and arrest Ibori.  Ibori suddenly absconded from the country, but has finally been found and arrested.

The real test now is whether Ibori will actually be prosecuted. He has been arrested and taken to court before but has almost managed to evade conviction on legal technicalities, fleeing the jurisdiction, or even having the Attorney-General write letters on his behalf to the police in order to stall his prosecution.

This is the latest saga in a long power play involving Ibori, the EFCC and Ribadu. The new President is cozying up to Ribadu and is trying to bring him back. Clearly Nigeria is not big enough for both Ribadu and Ibori.

Militancy in the Niger Delta: An Audience With Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi


I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.  The Governor was his usual slick and charming self. After a talk on development projects and initiatives he has undertaken in his state, he took some (often hostile!) questions from the audience.

Those who want to know more of Amaechi’s views should view the documentary about militancy in the Niger Delta I posted last year. It has an interview with him by Ross Kemp: http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/pirates-in-nigeria/

I was very impressed by his oratory and analysis of the Amaechi is a very good politician. Like a good politician he knows his audience and how to say what they want to hear.  He gave a very interesting talk explaining that he met a derelict and underfunded treasury and state when he took over as Rivers State Governor in 2007.  He explained his government’s initiatives in prioritizing the building of new schools and hospitals and greatly improving the security situation in Rivers State.

Niger Delta Militants and Amnesty

Obviously the audience were very interested in the Governor’s comments regarding the Niger Delta.  Amaechi’s stance on the issue is well known. He regards it as one of criminality. He says of the Niger Delta militants that “80% of them are criminals”. His view was that if the government cannot find a legal means of allowing people to access Nigeria’s oil wealth, then they will find an ILLEGAL one.

For this reason he opposed the amnesty declared last year by former President Yat’Adua. However he did admit that the amnesty has worked because it has permitted an increase in oil production from 700,000 barrels a day before the amnesty to 2.2 million barrels per day today. The Governor was pleased by this as it gave him more money (from derivation royalties) for his state.

http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/will-the-governments-niger-delta-amnesty-succeed/
The Governor said that the militants were armed by the elite for political purposes, then used their guns for militancy after escaping the control of their political pay masters. Amaechi basically thinks that many people have exploited the sympathy and publicity of the Niger Delta issue for their own money making purposes. People in his view, tag on to it and call themselves “militants” when they are in fact criminals.

“If the government does not cater for the poor, then the rich will not live comfortably”
http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/government-to-transfer-10-of-oil-and-gas-ventures-to-niger-delta-residents/

Amaechi refused to be drawn on whether Goodluck Jonathan should run in next year’s presidential election.  A firm “no comment” was his reaction.

I was impressed by the Governor’s talk. Although some parts of his talk sounded like a party political broadcast on his own behalf, he made many salient points. He said that if the government does not cater for the poor, then the rich will not live comfortably.

Goodluck Jonathan Interviewed on CNN by Christine Amanpour


On the back of his recent trip to the U.S., acting President Goodluck Jonathan was interviewed by Christine Amanpour of CNN. Interview Highlights:

1)    He has not seen Yar’Adua, nor have the government ministers.
2)    He has no idea about Yar’Adua’s state of health.
3)    He does not know whether Yar’Adua will ever return and resume his duties.
4)    His most pressing concern at the moment is electricity supply, and he has promised to hold a free and fair election next year where voters choice will actually count.
5)    He refused to be drawn on whether INEC Chairman Maurice Iwu would be sacked.
6)    He declined to confirm whether or not he will contest next year’s election.
7)    He was also asked about General Ibrahim Babangida’s intention to contest next year’s presidential election.
The full transcript of the interview is below:

AMANPOUR:

Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us on this program.

JONATHAN:

Thank you for finding time to discuss with me.

AMANPOUR:

Can I ask you first what an extraordinary name. How did “Goodluck” come to be your name?

JONATHAN:

I don’t know. I have to ask my father.

AMANPOUR:

Have you had good luck? And do you think you’ll need more than good luck to face down the incredible array of challenges that’s on your plate?

JONATHAN:

Well, the issue of good luck, I don’t really believe that the good luck an issue. But at the present, I’ve been facing a lot of challenges. What some people will attribute to good luck could have been disastrous under some circumstances.

AMANPOUR:

Well, let me ask you this. You are now acting president, because the president, Mr. Yar’Adua, is unwell.

JONATHAN:

Yes.

AMANPOUR:

Have you seen him since he has come back from his medical absence in Saudi Arabia?

JONATHAN:

No, I have not seen him.

AMANPOUR:

Why not?

JONATHAN:

The thinking of the family is that they should isolate him from most of the key actors in government. I have not seen him. The Senate president has not seen him …and at every single government function, I have not seen him.

AMANPOUR:

Doesn’t that cause anxiety amongst the people?

JONATHAN:

Yes, it does. It does. Obviously, it does, but we cannot influence his family’s thinking.

AMANPOUR:

Would you prefer that the family allowed you to visit him?

JONATHAN:

Yes, of course. But I will not want to force.

AMANPOUR:

What is his actual state of health? This also is a mystery.

JONATHAN:

I can’t say exactly. Only the medical doctors can.

AMANPOUR:

Have they told you?

JONATHAN:

No, they haven’t.

AMANPOUR:

Have they made any public statements?

JONATHAN:

Not quite. Not now. At the beginning, yes, but (Someone’s name – unclear) left for Saudi Arabia, I think in the second week or so, within the first week, we are told that acute pericarditis. After that, no other statement has been issued.

AMANPOUR:

So if he can receive religious leaders, why can he not receive at least the acting president who’s acting in his name?

JONATHAN:

Well, religious leaders are there for (inaudible) blessings. Probably that is why they asked the religious leaders to go and pray for him. We are a very, very religious society.

AMANPOUR:

Do you believe that those around him are trying to undermine you or your new cabinet?

JONATHAN:

I wouldn’t say they are trying to undermine me, because the laws of the land are very clear. And, of course, that is why in the first place constitution is designed for two people to be in charge of government at every time, one superior and one inferior.

AMANPOUR:

Do you think he will ever come back to government?

JONATHAN:

I can’t say that. It’s difficult for any of us as mortals to say so.

AMANPOUR:

So you are now acting president, and you have essentially a year, because elections will be held this time 2011.

JONATHAN:

Yes.

AMANPOUR:

What is your most pressing issue?

JONATHAN:

The most pressing issue for Nigerian now, in terms of basic infrastructure, is power.

AMANPOUR:

You mean electricity?

JONATHAN:

Electricity. Outside that, what is central to the minds of Nigerians now is an election that their votes will count, free and fair elections because we’ve been accused of as a country that our elections somehow are questioned. And I promise Nigerians that they will surely get that and I’ve done some experiments.

The next thing that Nigerians worry about is issues of corruption. You know we’ve been accused of as people who are in a privileged position in government amassing wealth at the expense of society. So they expect us to take these two issues seriously.

AMANPOUR:

So what can you do to take those issues seriously?

Obviously, the issue of good governance, of free elections, free of corruption is central, and you heard the United States has also said just now that you must remove the head of the election commission, Maurice Iwu. Will you do that?

JONATHAN:

You see, the issue of the – the electoral body – in fact, I even told the audience I addressed this morning, the issue is whether the present electoral body can conduct free and fair election or not. And I told them that, yes, they can, because I have done it with the same people.

On issue of the people at INEC, I told them that, look, between now and ending of June, most of the officials at the national level – they’re called commissioners – their tenure will end, and we’re going to review them on individual merit.

Within this period that I have been acting president, I have conducted three elections. They are conducted by INEC and it was free and fair. Only on Saturday, we conducted local council elections in the federal capital territory and all the information is that, apart from one or two that had some few discrepancies, they have been very peaceful, very credible… So that is the issue. So the issue is beyond one person.

AMANPOUR:

But let me just ask you…

JONATHAN:

I’m not defending the chairman.

AMANPOUR:

Do you think he will stay or will he be removed?

JONATHAN:

All of them we’ll review. And any one of them that we feel is not competent definitely…

AMANPOUR:

Do you feel that Mr. Iwu is competent?

JONATHAN:

(Laughs) No, no, no, no. I know that this question continues to come up.

What I’ve said is… the issue is beyond Mr. Iwu.

AMANPOUR:

I know. But I’m specifically talking about him, because it’s come up in your meetings with U.S. officials.

JONATHAN:

Yes, I agree that within the period that is (inaudible) there are quite a number of controversies. I agree. There are quite a number of concerns. There are quite a number of controversies. So I know what I’m telling you; that this very Iwu, I’m not trying to argue for him. The Iwu we are talking about has conducted free elections these past three elections that I’ve made reference to that are credible.

So the issue is beyond Iwu because we must set up an electoral system and our regulations and laws that will make sure that anybody who is appointed to that office should be able to conduct acceptable elections. And that is my focus.

AMANPOUR:

OK. Will you run in 2011? Will you present yourself as a presidential candidate?

JONATHAN:

For now, I don’t want to think about it, because the circumstances that – the circumstances of the day are quite worrisome.

I came in as the vice president to run with President Yar’Adua, of course, getting close to period of election, he took ill. And I have to take over under somewhat controversial circumstances. Only last week, I reconsidered the cabinet. So let us see how Nigeria will move forward first. I had a similar experience when I was governor of my state.

I said, nobody should ask me whether I will contest election or not. I must first of all see whether the state is moving. If the country is not moving, what what will I tell Nigerians I want to contest?

The full interview will air on ‘Amanpour’ at 2000 BST on Wednesday 14th April

CNN Interviews with James Ibori and Nuhu Ribadu


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPf417v7nGw

Interesting CNN video interviews with Nuhu Ribadu and James Ibori, where Ibori claims that the corruption charges against him are politically vindictive. Read and judge for yourself.

BBC Documentary on Rebranding Nigeria – *Part Two*


Rebranding Nigeria – Part 2:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2009/10/091026_rebranding_nigeria_part2.shtml

This is a continuation of the BBC documentary on rebranding Nigeria. This second part contains an interview with Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and the Information Minister Dora Akunyili. The BBC’s website asks:

“Can the home of 419 internet scams, corruption and voodoo ever transmit a positive image?  Nigeria is campaigning for a new image and a new reputation in an effort to attract some much needed investment.

Reporter Henry Bonsu follows the many steps of this charm offensive.

First there is a need to gain public support by showing that those in power are listening. People such as Lagos’ Governor Fashola, known locally as “Nigeria’s Obama”, a man who is planning a sustainable capital city 25 years into the future. Changes he has made have already been felt across the city: infrastructure has been improved, abandonned schools and hospitals are being reopened.”

This is a continuation of the documentary I posted at:

http://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/bbc-documentary-on-rebranding-nigeria/

Looting Nigeria: Stashing Stolen Money in Western Banks


Tales of corruption in Nigeria are legion. Although it rightly receives massive press coverage, a little covered angle is the frequent involvement of Western banks in laundering stolen money from Nigeria abroad.  This is a video report regarding how Nigeria’s former ruler and his family stashed Nigeria’s money in foreign banks such as HSBC, Citibank, Natwest, Barclays and Merrill Lynch.

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