Tag Archives: corruption

Patrick Eholor leads Abuja Anti-Corruption Protest, as Group Demand Capital Punishment for Corruption

By Ebriku John Friday, Abuja

A group of Nigerian students and activists under the auspices of Joint Action Committee, JAC, Wednesday, embarked on peaceful protest at the popular NICON Junction, in Maitama District of Abuja to demand capital punishment for corrupt public officials including other issues.

The protest which was organised by One Love Foundation, initially was billed to hold at Unity Fountain, opposite Transcorp Hilton, but was stopped by security agents from using the venue.

Speaking on the reasons for their protest, the Founder, One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor, said Nigerians are indeed taking for a ride and the common patrimony that belongs to them are on daily basis carted away with impunity, and they can no more sit and watch.

He also lamented that worsening insecurity situation in the North East region, which has claimed over 37, 000 lives of innocent Nigerians, therefore called for the resignation and apology of Service Chiefs.

He said: “Our demands include capital punishment for who loot our common patrimony, and this is our first demand. In order to eliminate corruption is to introduce capital punishment because Buhari said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.

Founder of One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor, speaking with journalists

“We are also saying that Nigerian institutions should reverse what they call admittance fee for the sake of the poor people. We are saying the Nigerian Police should be given adequate package to stop the aggression towards us, the Nigerian Customs Service should leave our streets and go to the borders, the Nigerian Immigration Service should stop giving citizenship to Lebanese, Indians and Chinese, and women should get more involved in politics.

“Service Chiefs have done us a disservice. We have lost over 37, 000 people in the North and the statistics are very correct. They should retire and apologise. So we must change the Service Chiefs because they have done us a disservice.

“We call on the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amechi, for putting Nigeria’s sovereignty in danger over his signing of agreements that we just know about.

“We warn that if there is no change we all will become unruly and outlawed.”

He further stated that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen God’swill Akpabio, mention all names of those who have milked the nation as far as the National Assembly probe on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is concerned ., which he aqlso alleged that the NDDC has not funded any project in Edo State, where he hails from.

“I approached my Member House of Representatives, who was allegedly mentioned by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen God’swill Akpabio as a contract beneficiary to show me where in the constituency he executed the projects, but he denied categorically, saying Akpabio must be day-dreaming. NDDC has not being funded in my area since 2018. Akpabio must mention to us those with him that milked Nigeria”, he added.

Speaking further, he (Eholor) called for peaceful and fair election in Edo State governorship election.

“My advice the governorship candidates of the two political parties, PDP and APC respectively is to ensure free and fair electoral process and think of the electorates, and who the cap fits should wear it, there is no loser or winner, who wins should be saluted and whoever lose should be embraced”, he said.

However, he said that, “I am not partisan because there have been accusations of god-father left and right. If we say former Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, was a god-father for instance, the son who is my friend and present Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, benefited from that god-fatherism.
Comrade Sunny Idika speaking during the protest

“So he who has not lived or sin let him cast the first stone. They all have one interest and don’t have interest of the people. We must stop that and people must be educated to go out there and register and truly vote. We must not sacrifice ourselves for these ‘bandits’.”

Meanwhile, other leaders of the protesters, including Nigerian Students and Youth Activist, Comrade Osemudiamen Ogbidi, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Chapter, Comrade John Michael, and others said President Muhammadu Buhari, should not leave those people who siphoned Nigeria’s money, eaten what belongs to the Nigerian youth and citizens should surely pay heavily for it, and ensure that anybody caught siphoning Nigeria money should be sentenced to death.

“Whether it is any institution or individual to siphon the money that belong to the public by private individuals it is not in the interest of Nigerians to continue to fight corruption that has no effect on the well-being of fellow Nigerians.

“Every day in our lives we have people who are dying because of poverty what has caused it is not more than corruption. We are here as Nigerian students, activists, advocates and conscience that anyone found wanton of corruption should die by corruption. Corruption is now a ‘Nigerian’ living with us but we say no to corruption.

“The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should provide the N80 billion spent within four months. The NDDC must tell us the N128 million they used to send drivers to driving schools. Where on earth is that done? Today everybody wants to travel to Dubai, but what did it take the people there to establish and develop their country? It was less than N1 billion. We hear billions of Naira budgeted for schools and others and yet our country is retrogressing. We say enough is enough!

“The reason why the Nigerian students have not resumed school is because of corruption. How long are we going to live like this in poverty, Diaspora, suffering, and if there is no change we are going to contain Nigeria”, they alleged.

CORRUPTION: Activist advocates use of African Traditional methods for oath-taking

Social rights defender and Observer-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Patriot Patrick Eholor has said that the best way to eliminate corruption among public officer holders is for them to take oath of office in the African traditional method.

Eholor argued that the Bible and Quran which came with foreign religions lack the potency of the African religion whereby one gets punished spiritually if he or she lies on oath. He said that way, dishonest and corrupt politicians will become extinct in public offices as whoever is seeking office must be ready to be honest or suffer the consequences.

Addressing our media representative in an interview, he stated;

“We have been deceived very well. We have seen Akpabio and the other people confessing. We have seen how corrupt these people are and how the pastors have become very mute over the whole thing. My advice today is that Nigeria has become so corrupt. We must drop Quran and Bible when taking oath. We must come back to African Traditional Religion, ATR.

“Before they are elected into office, they should take oath with Ogun, Alusi, or Eledumare, or Sango. They should take serious oaths, and say, “I swear by Sango, or Eledumare, or Ogun that what I am saying today is the truth and the whole truth. That if I go contrary by looting the treasury, or making the citizens suffer by stealing the money of the country, may Ogun kill them”

“Former president of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, may God bless him agrees with what I am saying. He said we should go back to ATR, so that all these people stealing our money, when they steal our ,Onye, they will be struck by thunder. If they steal our money and buy a car, the same month they will die by accident.

“When they see that criminals perish like that, they will not steal again. But now when they steal our money, they will pray in Jesus name. They will go to Bible and pray. They will go to church and stay in the front row, and donate money that was stolen to do road. You are a murderer when you steal money meant for road, and people die because of your corrupt actions. If you steal money for security and security was not provided, and somebody was raped, or murdered, is kidnapped, it’s on you. You are a murderer.

“If money is allocated for a hospital and you take that money and take your children to Dubai, and you take your girlfriend to Dubai, and leave people to die, you are a murderer. If you don’t get it now, your children and your grandchildren will get it. It will remain in your family line, that curse, until you change. And you people must change. Because I am going to write to the National Assembly that we are going to dump Quran and Bible.

“The elders and the youths, you must ask questions, you must demand your rights. Enough is enough. You either live free or you die, what’s the point living when you are not free? It’s better we question these people, who are full of banditry, stealing our common patrimony, who are foolish that they take money abroad. They don’t even invest it.

“I wonder why every people that failed us in this country are all P. Pastors is P, not all the pastors, some are good, politicians is P. Everything that failed us is PPPPP, what’s wrong with the letter P? Should we take it off our vocabulary”, he queried.

CORRUPTION: Edo Indigenes to investigate Edo NDDC, institute litigation if…

The leadership of Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA), has warned that they will institute litigation against the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Edo State branch if found complicit in the corruption galore going on in the agency.

Edo Indigenous Movement Leader and President of EPIA, Chief Dr Bishop J.O.Enoyiogiere Edokpolo gave this warning in Benin City, Edo State capital while speaking on the gravity of the NDDC scandal.

He said that the country should be embarrassed that the issue of corruption seem unending as different ministries, agencies and even national assemblies seep with the odious stink of corruption.

“I am not surprised but is obviously angry that at this stage of our national life, we are still battling with this thing called corruption. Unfortunately, its now at a level where it looks impossible to eliminate, because those who are supposed to enforce its elimination are all into the game.

“But we at EIM and EPIA do not believe in the power of corruption over our people. This is because of the strong cultural value behind every Edo indigene. We want to however warn that, as Niger Deltans, and naturally, benefactors of the NDDC projects and plans, we will not fold our hands and watch a few individuals corner or pocket wealth meant for the people.

“We warn Edo NDDC that we are embarking on a fact-finding mission, and woe betide if the agency is found wanting. Edo Indigenes will fight corruption at the level of the NDDC with all that we have got. We will not sit back and watch one man or a group of people squander our commonwealth, or pocket what is the right of our people. Let no man think he can do that here in Edo State.

“We all must play our different roles to ensure that we eliminate corruption in this country”, Edokpolo stated.

Court Dismisses Corruption Charges Against Tompolo, Others By EFCC

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court Wednesday dismissed all the 40 counts bordering on alleged N34 billion fraud filed by the Federal Government against Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, a company linked to a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Mr Ekpemupolo was charged alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpolokemi; Kime Engozu; Rex Elem; Gregory Mbonu; and Warredi Enisuoh.

Three other firms – Odimiri Electrical Limited; Boloboere Property and Estate Limited; and Destre Consult Limited – were also defendants in the criminal case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2015.

The ex-militant leader was initially joined as the first defendant in the suit, but his name was removed from the charge sheet after he ignored an order to appear in court, despite the judge issuing an arrest warrant on him.

In his ruling on Wednesday, Mr Buba upheld the defendants’ no-case submission, saying the prosecution “failed to establish a prima facie case” against them.

In the charges, the EFCC had accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to divert various sums running into over N34bn, belonging to NIMASA to their personal use.

The EFCC said they acted contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

The first count of the amended 40 counts read, “That you, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), Patrick Akpobolokemi and Global West Vessel Specialist Limited in 2012, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N601, 516.13 and $1,766,428.62, property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

The defendants had, during their arraignment four years ago, all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Premium Times

More trouble for Magu as security operatives search home

Security operatives, on Tuesday evening, searched the Karu, Abuja, house of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

The search, a source said, was part of the investigation into the activities of the anti-corruption commission under Magu, who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 9, 2015.

The embattled Magu was on Monday “arrested” by security operatives to face the presidential investigative panel, led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, retired Justice Ayo Salami, over some allegations levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, in a memo to President Buhari.

The Justice Salami-led panel, it was learnt, has representatives of the police, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the Department of State Services (DSS), among others.

The memo raised by Malami has some damning allegations against Magu, who was alleged, among other allegations, of insubordination to the AGF, ‘relooting of recovered loots’ and Sale of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends.

After facing the panel on Monday, the embattled Magu was detained at the Force CID at Garki, Abuja, from where he went to face the panel against on Tuesday.

A source informed that the security operative went to the house with a search warrant and moved in to carry out the search.

Media and the fight against corruption in Nigeria

By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

Undoubtedly, corruption has been the bane of Nigeria’s development for decades now. Both the military and the civilian administrations in this country have not spared efforts to put this monster at bay.

Efforts to rid the country of corruption formed basis of the military coups in the past. One remarkable effort that deserves mention is the reasons advanced by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu in his bid to justify the 15, January, 1966 coup that overthrew the government of First Republic. He said: “Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 per cent; those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian calendar back by words and deeds.”

Since Nzeogwu rendered this thought-provoking statement, corruption has remained recalcitrant, and could be likened to Wole Soyinka’s ogbanje child – in his epic poem, Abiku – who kept re-incarnating, visiting untold hardship and discomfort to the parents.

Because of the severe consequences of corruption on Nigeria’s image, both locally and internationally, and the negative pressures it is exerting on the nation’s economy, subsequent administrations have no option but to design one campaign or the other to fight the malaise. The present administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari is no exception. In the president’s thought, “if the nation does not kill corruption, corruption will kill the nation.”

One tool that has been proved veritable over the years – in the successful mounting of any public campaign – is the mass media. The mass media can be referred as channels of communication through which information, knowledge, ideas, culture, and norms are passed or communicated to a heterogeneous audience that are sparsely distributed and spontaneously receive this message. The mass media can be print, which include newspapers and magazines, among others; or the electronics, which comprises the radio or television. There is also a recent brand of the mass media which is referred to as the new media. The new media, according to Wikipedia.org, refers to content available on demand through the internet, accessible on any digital device, usually containing interactive user-feedback and creative participation. Common examples of new media include websites, such as online newspapers, blogs, wikis, video games and social media. One of the defining characteristics of the channel of mass media is dialogue. The new media transmit content through connection and conversation. It enables people around the world to share, comment on, and discuss a wide variety of topics.

The question that agitates the mind here is: “Why should the mass media be adequately deployed in the current fight against corruption?” The answer is not far-fetched. It is in controvertible that the media play a critical role in a country’s development. The media were at the forefront of the struggle for independence across African countries. A typical example is Nigeria, where elder statesman, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and other nationalists deployed the media maximally in their struggle for the nation’s independence. Because of the notable roles of the mass media in a nation’s development, a renowned scholar, Edmund Burke, conferred the media with the title of “Fourth Estate of the Realm.” Though not constitutionally guaranteed, the media checkmates other arms of government, such as the executive, legislature, and judiciary. The media is also referred to as the “watchdog” of the society, because it strives as the mirror with which the masses keep a tab on the society, basically the ruling class. Without the media, the society cannot function properly, and anything that affects the media negatively touches the heart of the society.

It is important to note that the media has made immense inputs in political reforms and nation building. The media has been deployed to effect political changes such as the collapse of Unio of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), agitations for political reforms in China and pro-democracy struggles in Nigeria.

The roles of the media in any society cannot be overemphasised. They include carrying of ideas; presenting representative pictures of the society; classifying the values and goals of the society; monitoring the government and making it accountable to the people ; promoting the concept of accountability, integrity, honesty, fairness and equity. Others are giving voice to the voiceless; agenda setting; fostering national unity and integration; promoting society’s culture and the moral value systems; and promoting sustainable national interest at all times. It is unambiguous to note here that if the current fight against corruption is to succeed, the media must be deployed effectively.

In addition, for media men to discharge their duties effectively in this current fight against corruption, the media ethics should be upheld religiously. It is an open secret that the ethics of the media of recent have been eroded embarrassingly. Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines ethics as the discipline that deals with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation; a set of moral principles and values; the principles of conduct governing an individual or group; and conforming to accepted professional standard of conduct.

The ethics of the media are some principles and codes of conduct that guide the journalist in the discharge of his duties and are as important as inner directives for the individual decision-making in various situations that arise in the course of performing his professional duties.

The Nigerian Press Ethical Codes of Conduct include the respect for the truth; the respect for the freedom of the individual; the respect for constituted authorities; avoidance of publication of bad taste in language and pictures; avoidance of libel and sedition; avoidance of malicious publication; not settling personal quarrels on the pages of newspapers and airwaves; not promoting sectional interest; respect away from bribes, including brown and envelope (sic; protecting your source of information at all times; not reporting about protected areas or zones; and maintaining good image both in conduct and appearance.

For the purpose of the current fight against corruption, few ethical codes and conduct should be emphasised. It will be recalled that the press has been seriously lampooned because of the black envelope syndrome. It is generally alleged that this syndrome induces journalists to slant stories in the interest of their benefactors. Though this assertion deserves a thorough argument, it is a known dictum that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune.”

A contradictory argument which tends to support the brown envelope syndrome expresses concern over the conditions of service of media practitioners, especially those in privately-owned establishments. It is no longer news that journalists are owed arrears of salaries, upward of one year, by proprietors of media houses in the country, including the notable. Indeed, bribery (brown envelope) is serious ethical issue of the media and should not be treated with kids’ glove. But to effectively de-emphasise it, media practitioners should be adequately remunerated and their salaries should be paid as at when due. If we achieve this, the fight against corruption would have been substantially achieved. In the words of late Moshood Abiola, publisher of the defunct Concord Newspapers, “if you fail to pay your workers, someone else will pay them and they will work for the person.”

Also, if the current fight against corruption must succeed, journalists should not promote sectional interest. They should see the entire country as their constituency. People who have been previously convicted for corruption should be celebrated on the front pages of newspapers or accord prominence on the electronic media. They should be treated as corrupt persons and not saints, because sometimes whatever the media accords prominence is regarded as serious issues by the public. The media should not promote issues that would affect the psyche of the public negatively. If these codes of conduct are religiously upheld, our current fight against corruption will achieve remarkable victory.

How 2 Ministers, CoS, Perm Sec, diverted, shared N35bn arms cash

*EFCC moves for forfeiture of 2 mansions traced to suspects set for prosecution

*Perm Sec got N120m cash, 2 Honda cars for new wife from contractor in lieu of NAF refueling job

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

Graphic details of how two defence ministers, top presidential aide, Inspector General of Police and Permanent Secretary connived with a contractor to divert and share a whopping N35 billion meant for the acquisition of arms and logistics for Nigerian troops on peace-keeping operations have emerged, more than a decade after. Vanguard learned that the N35 billion loan, which was obtained from the Debt Management Office, DMO, was for the award of contracts for the provision of logistics and equipment for Nigerian troops on peace-keeping missions under the Nigerian Contingencies in Peace Keeping Missions, CADEP.

However, documents obtained by Vanguard last night indicated that the bulk of the cash was diverted by the ministers, permanent secretary and a Chief of Staff to the President at the time, using fronts to masquerade as genuine contractors who did not only disappear with the cash but also provided substandard facilities that the troops have not been able to use till date, in some cases.

According to documents sighted by the newspaper, the documents also showed that the contractor, Richfield Technologies, which was used as front to divert the funds, exposed how the top government officials dictated to him how to share the cash, instead of executing the contracts and got full payment, even when the jobs were not satisfactorily executed. According to the documents, while the defence ministry officials ordered the full payment of the cash to the contractors when the equipment were yet to be supplied in full, some of the facilities supplied were discovered to be substandard and could not be utilized by the military till date. It was also gathered that some of the contracts were later terminated by the ministry after all the cash had been paid to the contractors without any refunds made to government by the defaulting contractors, making the nation to lose huge sums of money.

The document, which is now before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, details how the cash was taken, who got what and how much and how the cash was paid out to the beneficiaries after the jobs had been given out by the ministry. It was learned that part of the cash had been traced to the acquisition of two mansions in Asokoro district of Abuja for two former top government functionaries, while others requested for and got cars for themselves, wives and associates.

“The ownership of the two property has been traced and confirmed by the Abuja Geographic Information System, AGIS, Development Control Department, while EFCC has already begun moves to get them forfeited to the Federal Government. Already, the Managing Director of the four firms: Richfield Technologies Limited, VTB Exports &Imports Limited, Freerose Limited and African Integrated Services Limited that got the defence contracts, (names withheld) 47, has been quizzed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on why he failed to deliver on the jobs given to him and has spoken out on what transpired between his companies and the officials who awarded him the jobs.

The alleged connivance and diversion of the huge cash under questionable contracts took place between 2007 and 2012 when no fewer than three ministers, one chief of staff to the President and one Inspector General of Police held sway. Among those mentioned in the report now before the EFCC a former Chief of Staff to the President, two chieftains of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and a Permanent Secretary who served as one of the permanent secretaries within the period under review by the anti-graft agency. The contractor has blamed the failure of his companies to satisfactorily execute most of the jobs given to his four companies to the huge sums of money which the top government officials demanded and collected as bribes before awarding him the jobs and has listed what each person collected and how he paid them either through cash, cheques or outright acquisition of property for them.

The contractor said he paid N100 million to a former Chief of Staff to the President through a company nominated by him as bribe for the N1.2 billion contract he facilitated for the award of contract for arms supply. I also paid out another N80 million to a company, West African Business Platform as directed by the Chief of Staff and another $240,000 cash to the same man and a former Defence Minister for facilitating the jobs. “Forty million each was paid to the personal assistant to the Permanent Secretary in the Defence Ministry, for facilitating the letter of credit for the N533 million Simulation equipment supply contract to the Nigerian Army in Lagos.

“After the Permanent Secretary gave me three contracts worth N120 million to execute on his behalf, I paid the sum of N50 million each to him through his personal assistant, and he asked me to buy a new Honda Accord for his new wife. He also asked me to buy a Passat and a Jetta for his personal assistant. “The sum of N30 million was also paid in cash to the former Personal Assistant to the former defence minister for the award of N347 million contract the Perm Sec had earlier directed the bank “The permanent secretary told me not to execute the N120 million aircraft refueler contract but to pay him the cash through his PA who has since stopped picking his calls and severed contacts with him since I became the subject of investigation over the contracts,” the contractor wrote.

He said he was also forced by one of the former ministers to part with the sum of N490 million which they used in buying two properties at No 2 and 2A Udo Udoma Street in Asokoro District of Abuja. The EFCC’s Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, confirmed the investigation of the case and promised that the suspects would soon be charged to court for abuse of office, diversion of public funds and stealing. Vanguard

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Ghana becomes 3rd most corrupt nation in the world

Ghana has emerged the third most corrupt country in the world in the most recent version of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The West African country scored 67 points in the rankings released earlier this week.

Another African country, Kenya, also made the top 10, occupying the 8th position with 53 points.

Colombia is perceived to be the most corrupt country in the world, according to U.S. News’ 2020 Best Countries rankings, a characterisation of 73 countries based on a survey of more than 20,000 global citizens.

In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the countries to the term “corrupt”, the exact meaning of which was left to their own interpretation. The attribute is factored into the Best Countries rankings for transparency, as well as the best countries to invest in and headquarter a corporation.

Colombia, which sees an estimated $14 billion a year in corruption-related costs, experienced a wave of anti-government protests starting at the end of November. A new set of strikes could ensue after protest leaders meet with government officials later this month.

While the country is known for its decades of political scandals, voters recently elected Claudia López, a member of Colombia’s green party and a prominent activist, as the mayor of Bogota. López is the first woman and openly gay individual to become mayor of Colombia’s capital city.

Mexico, known for its deadly drug cartels, follows Colombia as the No. 2 most corrupt country in the 2020 ranking. Myanmar, Guatemala, Saudia Arabia, Brazil and Bolivia also made the top 10.

Russia, which has been accused of election meddling and Olympic doping, joins the top 10 list this year after placing No. 12 in 2019.

Adapted from a report by U.S. News & World Report

Enhancing EITI role in Fighting Corruption: The Nigerian Experience, By Matthew Ayibakuro

Since its establishment in June 2003, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has made considerable progress in addressing key governance issues in the extractive sector. The EITI Standard – outlining key requirements for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources – is currently being implemented in the 52-member countries of EITI. At a basic level, each country is required to publish an annual report disclosing information on issues such as production, revenue collection and allocation, contracts and licenses and economic and social spending.

Nigeria joined EITI in 2003 and made history by becoming the first country to provide legislative backing for the initiative in 2007.Since signing up, the country has been proactive in implementing the global standards underlying the initiative, including producing audit reports, revealing suspicious transactions and engaging the broad range of stakeholders in the extractive sector to enhance transparency.

Despite this, the high number of corruption cases that have come to light in the oil industry globally and in Nigeria in particular in the last couple of decades raises questions about the effectiveness of the initiative in addressing corruption: Why hasn’t EITI been effective in preventing corruption in the extractive sector? Why doesn’t its audit reports expose certain corruption scandals? What role can EITI play realistically in the fight against corruption? Etc.

These are some of the questions that informed a Discussion Paper on The Role of EITI in Fighting Corruption, which was commissioned by the EITI International Secretariat in June 2019. The paper looked at ways through which EITI is currently helping to address corruption in member countries, the limitations of its approach and what more can be done to enhance the role of the Initiative in practically addressing corruption.

To provide a Nigerian context to these issues, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) recently convened a High-Level Policy Roundtable to interrogate the role of NEITI – the Nigerian chapter of the global initiative – in addressing corruption in Nigeria and come up with recommendations. The issues raised in the paper and the outcome of the Roundtable provide significant insights on how best to effectively address corruption within the framework of EITI in Nigeria and elsewhere.

Presently, the framework for addressing corruption under EITI is two-fold: Firstly, in accordance with its general objectives, EITI promotes transparency by exposing suspicious deals and transactions and advancing global norms and practices on disclosure in the extractive industry. Secondly, the framework enhances the work of stakeholders in the anticorruption domain by providing them with valuable information and supporting discussion, monitoring and advocacy.

Beyond these, however, there are identifiable structural and non-structural limitations that reduce the effectiveness of the EITI initiative in addressing corruption. In terms of structural limitations, many corrupt activities take place outside the scope of EITI. As rightly pointed out in the Discussion Paper, the revenues from the extractive sector end up being used in construction and other sectors that are susceptible to corruption, and outside the mandate of EITI. Also, the fact that EITI does not have investigative and prosecutorial powers over acts of corruption limits its ability to play a direct role in addressing corruption in member countries.

Other limitations identified include the fact that the structured audit process of EITI could provide room for actors in the sector to organise deals in a way that circumvents the EITI reporting process. An instance of this is how Nigerian officials avoided the appearance of the $1.1 billion payment made by Shell and Eni for the rights to the oil block OPL 245 by setting up a special escrow account to receive the payment.

In terms of the non-structural limitations, the paper observed that some actors – especially national governments and major companies –are likely to use their participation in the initiative as proof of integrity and action in addressing corruption without necessarily taking decisive steps. Such acts of “whitewashing” milk the reputational benefits of the initiative by holding up EITI participation as a proxy for controlling corruption, without the needed effect.

Furthermore, and in the context of Nigeria, the often-belated release of the mandatory audit reports limits the potential effective use of disclosures in those reports for anticorruption purposes. As of September, 2019, the most recent audit report released by NEITI on the oil and gas sector is for 2016. Whilst there are funding and related issues that understandably affect the timely preparation and release of reports, the current delays seriously hamper their use by civil society groups, anticorruption agencies, the media and other stakeholders in addressing corruption issues disclosed.

From the International Secretariat to the national level, there is a growing concern and disposition to enhance the effectiveness of the EITI Initiative in addressing corruption. The following recommendations can prove helpful to achieving this: EITI, at both international and national levels, need to be more proactive in furthering its role in addressing corruption. There should be a more strategic focus on revealing cases of corruption, beyond mere disclosure. Increased partnership with anticorruption agencies in areas like information sharing is also important. This is one area where NEITI has been proactive in recent years. In 2016, NEITI worked with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a Joint Task Forceto investigate issues raised in the NEITI audit report released that year. The outcomes of processes like this can be integral to addressing corruption.

The validation process which all EITI members are required to undergo to assess the level of compliance with the EITI standard should take into consideration factors around accountability and remediation for acts of corruption. This will make up for EITI’s lack of prosecutorial mandate in addressing corruption. EITI should work with civil society organisations to enhance their capacity and role in understanding and analysing audit reports on the extractive sector and mechanisms to use such disclosed information for anticorruption purposes. EITI needs to address corruption in a more direct and intentional way through measures such as reviewing its internal policies and practices, working with stakeholders in more specific ways on how to address corruption revealed through its processes, and monitoring the use of EITI data for anticorruption purposes.

Whilst it is obvious that EITI has played a significant role in improving transparency in the extractive sector globally, the transformation of these gains into concrete outcomes would depend on how the initiative considers its role in addressing issues such as corruption and the spending of revenues for economic and social development purposes. The time is right to commence and accelerate this process of moving from transparency to accountability under the EITI framework.

Dr. Matthew Ayibakuro

Research and Social Norms Advisor, ANEEJ

No Igbo listed among CNN’s 20 most corrupt Nigerians

A recent report of the American Cable News Network (CNN) gave the names of Nigeria’s 20 most corrupt leaders.

The list which went viral, showed, sadly, how several of those who were on the corridors of power looted the treasury and are still around to dictate the direction the country goes. Top on the list is two time president, Olusegun Obasanjo. 
However, no single Igbo is on this list, despite being labeled lovers of money more than every other ethnic group in the nation. 
In a recent publication, CNN has gone ahead to publish a list that shows how corrupt our former leaders are and how much they looted from our treasury.
Here is the list, if you have not seen it yet: 
Oluesgun Obasanjo – He stole $25 billion from 1999-2007 ($16.4 from power sector alone)
Ibrahim Babangida – He stole $15 billion from 1985-1993 ($12.4 billion from oil wind fall in 1990
Abdulsalam Abubakar – He stole $9 billion from 1998-99
Sani Abacha – He stole $7 billion from 1993-1998
Ahmed Bola Tinubu – He stole and continues to steal from Lagos State treasury since 1999 till date. It’s estimated that he has stolen $6 billion so far.
TY Danjuma – He fraudulently got enriched through oil blocks from the Niger Delta worth $20 million in the 70s after the counter coup. Those oil blocks worth billions of dollars in today’s value.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi – He stole $1.2 billion as CBN Governor from 2008-2014.
Bukola Saraki – Through his father, Olukola Saraki, their bank, Societe Generale and as a governor of Kwara State (2003-2011) he stole $1.1 billion
Nasir El Rufai – Before he was made the FCT Minister, El Rufai was broke, homeless and was looking for loan to import taxis from the UK. After he was made the minister, he seized landed properties that belonged to Nigerians and resold them with huge profit. It’s estimated that he stole $1 billion from 2003-2007.
Tunde Fashola – He is the poster boy of Tinubu. Boht of them looted Lagos dried and left it in debt of about N1 billion. Fashola, among other thing built his personal website for N78 million, drilled borehole for over N100 million per each and built a kilometre road for N1 billion. He stole $900 million from 2007-2015. He’ll soon be a minister to continue the looting.
Chubike Rotimi Amaechi – From 2007 to 2015, he stole $700 million and $150 million from that money was used to sponsor Buhari and APC.
Atiku Abubakar – When he as asked by our reporter how he made his money, he simply said “he was always at the right place at the right time.” Atiku is an astute businessman, but through shady deals, he stole $500 million from 1999-2007.
James Ibori – He stole $150 million from 1999-2007 as governor of Delta State. He’s serving his term for money laundering in the UK.
Amina Mohammed – This woman was the founder of Afri-Project Consortium (APC) that was in charge of all PTF Projects during Abacha’s regime. About $125 million was stolen from PTF accounts from 1994-1998. Buhari has just nominated the same woman as a minister to continue to stealing.
DSP Alamieyeseigha – He stole $120 million and was arrested for money laundering. He pleaded guilty and long served his term.
Sule Lamido – He stole $110 million between 2007-2015 and out of that amount, $50 million was found in his sons’ bank accounts. He was arrested and detained for days together with his sons.
Rabui Kwankwaso – He stole $100 million as a governor of Kano State. EFCC has arrested many of his aides and they are “singing” how they siphoned the money
Kashium Shettima – this governor has stolen about $80 million and still counting.
Rauf Aregbesola – he has milked Osun State to the tune of $60 million.
Kayode Fayemi – this former governor stole $40 million and stashed some part of the loot in Ghana. He was reportedly bought a bed for N50 million.

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