probity, transparency, accountability and the federal government

 

Kamorudeen writes that corruption is endemic in Nigeria because of impunity

Kamorudeen writes that corruption is endemic in Nigeria because of impunity

 

The news surrounding the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s suspension brings to mind, the shibboleth of the Nigerian federal government towards fighting corruption. Since the fourth republic, which began in 2009, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been in the realms of affairs: Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Yar’Adua and the outgoing Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ). This revives a whole lot of asphyxiating case study, which most apparently exist in this current regime.

The Stella Oduah’s looting, Abdulrasheed Maina’s pension fund scam, the high level of impunity, which entranced the indicted fuel subsidy thieves, the obnoxious missing $20 billion and a whole lot of others. Yet, the federal government keeps blind eyes and deaf ears to these, and as if the EFCC is a defunct anti-corruption body. Kudos to the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led EFCC that convicted high profile government officials. The best the Jonathan’s led administration could offer is a filibuster committee as an antidote to Nigeria’s outcry. The invitation of fugitive to the national conference as delegates buttress the PDP-led GEJ government’s tolerance for corruption. Fugitive, I mean Depreye Alamieyeseigha, a UK fugitive convicted of money laundering in Nigeria, but ironically pardoned by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Hence, it is not surprising that the United State of America indicted President Goodluck Jonathan of widespread corruption in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. The report further went to indict the judiciary and security agencies, which are under the purview of the executives. Three major judicial flaws have been encountered within two years of Goodluck Jonathan’s regime: The acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Chief Bode George whom President Goodluck have vested interest in, as well as the taciturn of Farouk Lawal’s case. Furthermore, the conviction of former Delta State governor James Ibori in the Southwark Crown Court London of charges for money laundering and other financial crimes totaling N12.4billion, after he was acquitted by a Nigerian court.

The report further states that in July 2012, the government released a list of those who had benefited illegally from the fuel subsidy program, which included relatives and colleagues of key government officials, notably the son of the immediate past chairman of the PDP, Mahmud Tukur. “In late July, the EFCC began arraigning suspects, first with a group of 20 indictments, including six oil companies and 11 individuals. By the year’s end, the EFCC initiated prosecutions of approximately 50 cases related to the subsidy scam. The majority of these cases involved companies and individuals who had fraudulently received subsidy revenue. Investigations and trials had not produced any convictions.”

Most recently, the suspended CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi informed the presidency of the non-remittance of $20 billion by the NNPC in the last 18 months, which is equivalent to about N3.3 trillion. Mallam Sanusi on his post-suspension interview, also stated that the NNPC account has not been audited in the last five years, which the Federal government has not denied. Conversely, the complainant was suspended due to the obvious rationale to the revelation of the missing money.

Between 2011 and 2013, the House of Representatives has investigated the NNPC severally, and has in many cases found officials of the corporation wanting. Alas, no one has been sanctioned by the federal government.

One sarcastic facet about Nigerians is that these entire idiosyncrasies are normal. Corruption is becoming endemic due to the impunity in Nigeria. If monies stolen by the people in power are invested into the country, it will help bridge the huge gap between the rich and the poor and definitely meet up with the infrastructural deficit experienced today. 2015 election is around the corner, and we have a decision to make. A choice between mediocrities coupled with corruption and meritocracy tied with integrity.

Written by Balogun Kamorudeen (APC Scandinavia Finland, Interim Secretary)

 

 

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