U.S. delivers damning verdict on Jonathan

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.”

 

 


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  • adenle

    Corruption everywhere!

    • Salisu Jaja Ali

      In Nigeria, we should put into consideration our diversity,as well as interweave nature. Thus, in curbing corruption here in our country, we need not fire with fire. I’m sure Mr president will resolve ALL our corrupt problems amicably and making all parties involved leave contented n HAPPY. PEACEFUL RESOLUTION is the answer.

      • Dan

        We are not seeking the happiness of the loathers and thieves. We are hoping that they suffer hard and long in jail, then they should face the firing squad. No, we do not want the happiness of these individuals.

      • Edonmidaniel

        The sad thing nows mr president seems to be actively involved.

  • Chuka okoye

    devil cannot cast out devil.our fate is in the Lord not on those so called leaders but they should remember that the day of the Lord’s judgement must surely come.nobody can escape it.

  • Chukwudi2009

    Chuka, I think you are right that our Fate is in the hands of the Lord. But Lord in his infinite mercy has also put our fate in OUR hand. So perhaps taking a cue from the Arab Spring, it is NOW that the NIGERIAN SPRING should start. Enough is enough. We have to take OUR FATE IN OUR HANDS as blessed by the Lord and throw these corrupt people out .

    • Dan

      Arab Spring? Jesus! Arebia is still burning. There is wider scale mistrust among the ethnic groups and there are guns everywhere. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Sanusi Adamu

    chukudi.I totally agree with u. why should we just sit and allow some ruthless penrobbers to destroy our country ? All arms of government have failed the Nigerian Nation.The people are the last resort in saving the country.If we fail to react now then we have no moral justification to tell our children and their children that we have try our best to make Nija a better place for them.

  • Lanre

    If you dip your hand into the river to get water, will you pick stones? I think not. When you grow an Apple tree would it bear Oranges. I think not. Nigerians need to look deep. Deep inside. Is the average Nigerian a rogue? If not, why does the country always have looters, rogues, murderers and thieves in power? Is the fault in the gene of the Nigerian? Questions, Questions. This same report could have been produced in 1982, 1991, 2002. It does not matter. Quo Vadis, Nigeria?

  • Orisremi

    OUR LEADERS HAVE NO FEAR OF GOD AND ARE VERY HEARTLESS !!! I HAVE A DREAM! A DREAM ABOUT WHEN JUSTICE WILL RAIN AND DESTROY ALL OUR LEADERS THAT HAVE DESTROY NIGERIA AND STILL CONTINUE TO DESTROY NIGERIA.

  • ACTION MAN

    Like drugs, these corrupt beings destroying the nation will soon expire and be destroyed. 9 days is for the thief but one, final day is for the owner.

  • Ninnangle4real

    God save Nigeria from evil leaders.

  • Aminu B.

    YAP THEM ACCORDING TO LATE FELA R.I.P.ANY MEMBER OF ASSOCIATION OF TREASURY LOOTERS STARTING FROM YOUR FAMILY, KINSMEN, RELIGIOUS, FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES ETC CORRUPTION IS CORRUPTION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. DONT GIVE RECOGNITION TO ANY MEMBER AROUND YOU TREAT HIM LIKE A DOG OR A COMMON THIEF!

  • Cyril Okon

    IT’S REALLY SAD AND SOONER OR LATER WE WILL AS A MATTER OF FACT TAKE IT AS A WAY OF LIFE NOT UNTIL SOMETHING IS DONE AND DONE URGENTLY. THESE SO CALLED LEADERS OF OURS PERSISTENTLY HIT US AND GO SCOT-FREE. I HAVE READ AND WTNESS HOW THINGS ARE DONE , IF NOT IN A PERFCT WAY CLOSE TO PERFECTION IN A CIVILISED SOCIETY. WHAT WE NEED IS A TOTAL TURN AROUND FROM OUR WAYS (RIGHT FROM TOP TO BUTTOM). THE BUTTOM BEING MY MOST ”CONERN”. TO PUT IT SIMPLY, IF THE NATION CAN FOR ONCE EMBARK ON STRIKE FOR WANT OF ONE THING OR THE OTHER, THEN I THINK IF WE THE SUBJECTS OF OUR CORRUPT LEADERS REALLY WANT TO EVOLVE A CHANGE SHOULD TAKE EXAMPLE FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN EGYPT, LIBYA AND IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD ARUOND.