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(Feb 02, 2008) President Umaru Yar'Adua stated on January 15, 2008, that Nigeria would establish a new government unit aimed at monitoring suspicious financial transactions, modeled on similar bodies in the United States and China, in order to strengthen anti- corruption efforts in the public sector. Since Yar'Adua took office in May 2007, seven state governors of the former administration have been charged with embezzlement and money laundering. However, two of them reportedly helped finance Yar'Adua's election victory, characterized by international monitors as "not credible because of widespread fraud," and in December 2007, the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who led the anti-graft campaign under the former administration, was removed from office. Thus far, moreover, "there has been no significant progress in the cases against the former governors." (Felix Onuah, Nigeria to Set Up New Body to Monitor Corruption, REUTERS, Jan. 16, 2007, available at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L15648917.htm.) Five of them were charged in June 2007 and granted bail; the other two, James Ibori and Ayodele Fayose, were charged in December and are being held in prison. The Ibori case in particular is viewed as a major test of the Yar'Adua government's commitment to fight corruption. Ibori allegedly stole over US$85 million and attempted to bribe police with $15 million to stop their investigation of him. (Id.)

Author: Wendy Zeldin More by this author
Topic: Government ethics and transparency More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Nigeria More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 02/02/2008