Nigeria: The Crooked Politicians Are Winning

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October 19, 2006: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has calculated that corrupt officials have stolen over $500 billion since the 1960s. That's about a billion dollars a month. In the past two years, the EFCC has made over 2,000 arrests, launched 306 investigations and obtained 90 convictions. Some $5 billion has been recovered. Since the corrupt officials hold most of the senior positions in the government, they are increasing their defenses. Thus they can protect themselves from well-documented corruption charges by using allies in the legislature, courts and bureaucracy, as well as the demands of legal due-process. If the corrupt officials prevail, the only cure for the economic and social malaise will be a revolution. Nigerians are really getting tired of hearing about all that oil wealth, and seeing nothing but poverty and decay about them.

October 16, 2006: The government is prosecuting three Nigerians (employees of the Defense Ministry) and three foreigners (a Romanian, Israeli and Irishman) for spying for Russia. This case is believed to really be about Russian oil companies looking about for opportunities to get a piece of the action in Nigeria.

October 15, 2006: Most of the state governors have been accused of corruption by a government investigation, but attempts to impeach and prosecute them have run up against accusations that the entire process is a political ploy. Normally, corrupt governors protect themselves via corrupt allies in the state legislature (which have to impeach governors before they can be prosecuted) and judiciary. The current conspiracy theory is that president Obasanjo, who cannot run again, is using the corruption campaign to control who will be president next. This battle over who is stealing could trigger a civil war, since the money is very important to a lot of people.

 

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