President Muhammadu Buhari is globally acknowledged for his anti-corruption stand, but 5 major corruption cases against officials in his government in 2017 are making people reconsider value attached to the anti-graft fight in Nigeria.
The impacts of these corruption cases are grave and may erode popular support of the current government. This is because many people have started questioning its seriousness to really fight the malice in Nigeria.
The newly released 2017 corruption perception index by Transparency International also confirmed this fear. Nigeria dropped 12 places from 136 to 148 in the latest CPI ranking. A situation adduced to administration’s protective posture towards officials accused of corruption in the government.
Looking at 2017, here are 5 corruptions cases that put Buhari’s government in a really bad light.
1. Employment scandals in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)
The first major scandal of 2017 was the illegal recruitment of personnel by two major agencies of government – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The lists of new personnel for these agencies were filled with sons, daughters and relatives of major government officials.
Considering the anti-corruption posture of the government, the citizens had thought the process would be reversed and civil service rule adhered, but the government graciously ignored it.
More so, the news broke at a time President Buhari just stated that his administration won’t be recruiting for the year.
2. “Grass Cutting” scandal of ex-secretary to the Federal Government
The grass cutting contract scam was noted as legendary. This is because the contract sum was far above allocation for needed amenities on these camps.
The government is allocating N200 million to cut down bushes around the camp. The main culprit in this case is the Babachir Lawal, who was the Secretary to the Federal Government as at then. Government reluctance to either sack, suspend or investigate the scam made many Nigerians to conclude that there are sacred cows in the government.
President Buhari was not bugged despite repeated threat from the Senate and Civil Society organisation (CSOs). However, Babachir was later suspended and sacked seven months after an investigative committee headed by the country’s vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, recommended his sack.
To many, this is an indication that the government may just be playing with its corruption fight.
3. $24 billion NNPC contract scam
The graveyard silence on the alleged $24 billion contract scam in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the government shows all is not well with the anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria.
This accusation was made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, in a letter to the president.
Both Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, were accused in this letter. An internal dispute settlement was done between the parties and the scandal was made non-mentioned.
4. Illegal Recall and promotion of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina
Nigerians were shocked to learn that the fugitive ex-police pension task force boss and civil servant, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, has been reinstated and subsequently promoted to the position of an acting director in the federal civil service.
The trio of Minister of Interior, Mr Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami and the COS to the president were accused of crafting this plot. However, none of these officials has been sacked, told to resign or punished for violating the Civil Service Act in the country.
5. Privatization of Nigerian Police Force by IGP Idris Ibrahim
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, was accused by a serving senator of embezzling police funds to the tune of N10billion monthly. The fund was said to be the money income from security services provided by force to private companies and citizens.
Just like previous major accusations against officials in the government, the case was not investigated and all is left to be the way it has always been.