Whereas corruption is generally associated with stealing of (public) funds, the following catalogues the many serial acts that demonstrate how corruption magnifies the scope of underdevelopment – especially in a zero-sum political atmosphere like Nigeria’s, with a ruling party that has the nation in a vice-grip hold, and politicians whose major consideration is about the verb ‘EAT’.
*A legislator with forged documents, Imam Salisu Buari, emerges as Speaker, House of Representatives
*A senator’s real identity is called to question after emerging as Senate President – Evan Enwerem or Evans Enwerem (Nigerians never got to determine which of them became Senate President because his colleagues could not stand the embarrassment and, therefore, removed him from office.
*The actual cost of the hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, and the All Africa Games hosted by Nigeria may never be known because of the massive inflation that attended the regime of contract awards.
*Chuba Okadigbo, who took over from Enwerem, did not last on the seat as a contract scandal in the Senate, hinged on a warped doctrine of anticipatory approval, created a life of its own leading to Okadigbo’s removal from office.
*Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba battled the Olusegun Obasanjo executive arm of government for the almost three years he led the House of Representatives, climaxing in the millions of Naira laid before the members on the floor of the House as proof-positive of the attempt by Obasanjo to bribe members into removing the speaker.
*The same Obasanjo, acting with a few senators and a Senate president ,actually doctored an Act of the National Assembly, the Electoral Act, 2002 version, to favour the Peoples Democratic Party’s lust for maximum power – the move was exposed, bringing Obasanjo and the Senate to ridicule.
*During the 2003 presidential election, some state governors of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, sabotaged their own party in favour of the PDP because of filthy lucre .
*Obasanjo’s attempt to extend the tenure of his office beyond two terms of four years each was massively mobilised with billions of naira allegedly paid to National Assembly members as inducement for possible amendment of the Constitution to accommodate his wish.
*During the PDP presidential primaries in 2007 which threw up Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the out-going Obasanjo regime spent a massive amount of money to prosecute the emergence of the party’s presidential candidate – it had to because there was need to buy-out other candidates or quash them.
*While ailing President Yar’Adua was hospitalised in Saudi Arabia, some state governors bribed National Assembly members not to pass a resolution that would empower the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to begin to act as President and Commander-in-Chief
*Preparatory to the general elections of 2011, the government virtually opened the vault to prosecute the election and return Jonathan as President. It is not a new phenomenon as this had been the practice since 1998/’99
*Nigerians were told late last year that the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly called petrol, would be removed because of thieves exploiting the subsidy regime. What the Federal Government refused to disclose to Nigerians was that its officials and friends in high places were the ones ripping off Nigerians.
*After the one week strike which crippled the economy on account of increase in the price of petrol, the National Assembly, specifically the House of Representatives, set up a committee to look into the management of the subsidy funds. At the public hearing, Nigerians were treated to details of how their government connived with business people to swindle them of trillions of naira under the pretext of collecting subsidy.
*In the wake of the committee’s work emerged another scam within a scam that Femi Otedola, a friend to President Jonathan and financier of the PDP who also operates as a member of the President’s Economic Management Team, had participated in a bribery operation to entrap Hon. Lawan Farouk, chairman of the House Committee. The scandal developed a life of its own as insinuations flew about that it was a move by the Presidency to rubbish the report of the committee which lampooned the Federal Government. That report, well, remains just a report.
*The latest is the Nuhu Ribadu Committee report on the waste going on in the petroleum sub-sector of the economy. The committee members openly poured allegations of compromise on one another. The Presidency has even waded in, alluding that the Committee Chairman, Ribadu, may just be a rabble rouser.
*On the issue of public declaration of assets, Jonathan publicly told Nigerians that he did not give a damn about what the media says and that declaring his assets is a personal affair, that he would not be harangued into making his declaration public: What example from the nation’s Number One Citizen.
The believers in Code of Conduct
A list of countries that have entrenched income and assets disclosure system/code of conduct for public officers in their constitutions:
5 Central African Republic
8 Costa Rica
10 El Salvador
19 Republic of Congo