Nigeria’s fight against corruption has attracted financial, technical and moral support from various governments and donor agencies.
There must be a strong response to these pardons that show committment to the fight against corruption and support for the Nigerian people who are opposed to the pardons.
Of the eight pardons granted, the most talked about is that of ex-Governor D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa state, who jumped bail in the UK in 2005 on money laundering charges but was later tried and convicted in Nigeria by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Mr Alamieyeseigha is still wanted abroad. The second most talked about pardon, is that of Major Bello Magaji, who was convicted in 1996 of sodomizing little children. The third controversial pardon is that given to Mustapha Bulama, former Managing Director of the Bank of the North, who converted customers’ deposits into personal funds, crashing what was once Nigeria's biggest bank.
For looting state funds and customer deposits and abusing children, these three gentlemen have been granted state pardons, effectively sending a strong message of state-sanctioned abuse of power.
The US Embassy in Nigeria tweeted twice on Thursday condemning the pardons. In their words:
The #USG is deeply disappointed over the recent pardons of corrupt officials by the GON #Nigeria. We see this as a setback in the fight against corruption. #Nigeria.
We would like the US, British, Canadian, German, South African & Emirati governments who in different capacities support Nigeria’s fight against corruption and are popular destinations for Nigerians, to desist from granting visas to ANY persons, and members of their families, convicted of stealing public funds or acts that violate fundamental human rights.
Nigeria’s fight against corruption has attracted financial, technical and moral support from various governments and donor agencies. Any sanctions against current government officials to send a strong message of disproval of state-sanctioned looting of funds will also be welcome.