How Rich is Nigeria – A Nation of Corruption Without Boundaries?

Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries

How rich is Nigeria – a nation of corruption without boundaries?

Has Nigeria become a nation of corruption without boundaries?

Or maybe, it is actually a nation that corruption cannot kill.

Table of Contents

The Effect of Corruption on the Economy

The World Bank has listed Nigeria among the country with the worst inflation rate, rubbing shoulders with countries like Sudan and Lebanon.

The latest report by NBS actually admitted that the inflation rate has risen to 16.8%

With over 70 million people living in extreme poverty the country is competing with India for the unwanted and unenviable title of the poverty capital of the world.

Nigeria’s unemployment rate still hovers around 33%

The ease of doing business is abysmally low with the country not able to make it to the top 20 countries in the ease of doing business ranking in Africa.

The total electricity generation in Nigeria as at today is less than 4,000 megawatts. This is for a country with a population of over 200 million. To put this in perspective, South Africa with a population of less than 60 million generates over 58,000 megawatts.

I can continue with this stats and it will have no end. But is that really as negative as it sounds? Maybe it is a reflection of what corruption can do.

Most people has criticized these stats and view it as a sign of poor performance by the country and perhaps rightly so.

Their argument stems from the fact that the country is too rich and as such should perform better when put side by side with other African countries.

But the question is, is Nigeria really that rich? If it is, how rich is Nigeria?

The Potentials and Possibility Without Corruption

Nigeria is the most populated black nation in the world

The youth population is more than the population of 20 African countries joined together

Nigeria for long has been the highest oil producing country in the world

Apart from crude oil (which accounts for more than 85% of the country’s revenue) Nigeria is blessed with more than 40 other natural resources.

Each of these resources could easily give as much as crude oil gives to the country if properly harnessed.

So, are you getting an idea of how rich Nigeria is or could possibly become?

So the question is rather a paradox. How can a nation be this rich yet extremely poor? In fact, it appears as the richer the country gets the poorer the citizens becomes.

Who bewitched Nigeria? Yes, it is not impossible that there is a coven somewhere where they manufacture witches in Nigeria. Else, how do you explain the fact that an average Nigerian politician steals billions of naira annually? And we are talking about having close to 500 politicians with the mind to do such. Will China, America or Russian have survived such?

Peter Obi in one of his interviews described it as ‘sickness’. ‘when you take 1 billion naira, that is greed, but when you take 80 billion naira that is sickness’ agonizes the Presidential Candidate of Labour Party.

I think this country called Nigeria is finally in a deep mess and danger looms. But I equally think that Nigeria is simply a nation that corruption cannot kill. And I will explain to you why I think so.

High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria

I will share with you why I think that Nigeria is a nation that corruption cannot kill. Just take a look at what a nation has been through in just about 3 decades.

1. N195 Billion Maina Pension Scam

It is believed that as Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina misappropriated billions of naira worth of pension funds. He claimed to have recovered the money from pension thieves. The senate committee probing pension funds management accused him of mopping up pension funds from banks and depositing the money in his private accounts. According to the committee, this mopping of such funds had made it impossible to pay thousands of pensioners across the country for months. The case was first brought to public light in 2013.

FYI: hundreds of pensioners across the country reportedly died while waiting to receive the pension that never came.

How did it end?

Maina was finally convicted in November 2021 for the 2 billion naira fraud the court believe there was enough evidence to prove beyond doubts. Nigeria – a nation of corruption without boundaries.

2. Kerosene Subsidy Scam 

The Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had in 2014 shown that the kerosene subsidy was eliminated in 2009 by a directive of the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Further evidence, in the form of official data from across Nigeria, shows that nowhere in the country is kerosene sold at a subsidized rate. It is bought by the NNPC at N150, sold to marketers at N40-N50, but retails at N170-N250. Mr Sanusi estimates that $100m goes astray this way each month. Multiply that by 60 months this was going on before Sanusi raised the alarm. “The margin of 300-500 per cent over purchase price is economic rent, which never got to the man on the street.

In dollar terms every vessel of kerosene imported by NNPC with federation money cost about $30m and it was sold at $10 or $11m generating rent of $20m per vessel to the syndicate,” he writes. And guess what? Records shows that NNPC imports Four to six vessels of kerosene each month.

How did it end?

The court is yet to convict anyone over that case. Rather, the whistleblower was sacked. Nigeria – a nation of corruption without boundaries.

3. $6bn Fuel Subsidy Scam

Nigeria’s parliament has discussed a report said to reveal that $6bn has been defrauded from the fuel subsidy fund between 2013 and 2014. The debate, which was televised live, made official findings that was widely leaked in 2015. The fuel sector probe was set up in the wake of angry nationwide protests in January 2015 after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy. Nigeria is a major oil producer but has to import most of its fuel. Notable members of the PDP or their families were involved in the scam like Mamman Ali and Mahmud Tukur.

Unfortunately till today nobody has been punished for that grave corruption case. Nigeria – a nation of corruption without boundaries.

4. 123bn Naira Fraud – Stephen Oronsaye

A damning report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation in 2015 indicted a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, over an alleged N123billion fraud perpetrated during his tenure, between 2009 and 2010. The 169-page report, entitled “Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions,” according to an online news medium, Premium Times, found Oronsaye guilty of allegedly presiding over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.

The audit by the auditor-general arose from the work of a Special Audit Team constituted by the federal government in May 2011 to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounts of the Civilian Pension Department domiciled in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, uncovered monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Oronsaye served as Head of Service.

How did it end?

Well, tactically the case is still on. But who can bet against the accused persons all going free?  Definitely not me. Not in Nigeria, a nation of a corruption without boundaries

5. Police Pension Fund Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the ex-permanent secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, now a director in the Police Pension Office, Atiku Abubakar Kigo; the chief accountant, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, and four others before an Abuja high court on an 18-count charge of conspiracy, breach of trust and embezzlement of N32.8 billion police pension funds.

The six accused persons were docked before Justice Hussain Baba to whom the case was reassigned following a controversial judgement of the first trial judge, Justice Abubakar Talba: he gave a light sentence to one of the accused, John Yusuf, who pleaded guilty to a three-count charge. But Attang, who was arraigned by the EFCC for the first time in connection with the alleged fraud, was granted N10million bail and two sureties in like sum. Those who were re-arraigned include Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira, Christian Madubuike, and John Yusuf who had been convicted.

How did it end?

Unfortunately, for a fraud of over 30 billion naira the accused was set free after paying a paltry sum of 750,000 fine – Chaii, Nigeria, a country of corruption without boundaries.

6. Stella Oduah Car Purchase Scandal

The committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the N255m bulletproof car scandal in the aviation ministry indicted the Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah. It was gathered in Abuja that the report of the presidential committee tallied with some findings of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the scandal. In October 2014, there were reports that with the approval of the minister, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority purchased two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255m. The development sparked a countrywide controversy with many Nigerians and groups calling for her sacking.

How it end?

After much pressure Stella was sacked from her position as minister. But nothing was said about what really happened to the money. This once again showed Nigeria as a nation of corruption without boundaries.

7. NNPC missing $20billion naira

Even in a country where untold oil wealth disappears into the pockets of the elite, this particular oil corruption scheme seemed outsize — and the man exposing it threatened to lay it bare at a meeting with Nigeria’s top bankers. The whistleblower was none other than the then governor of the country’s central bank – Lamido Sanusi. Weeks later, however, he was out, fired by Nigeria’s president in an episode that shook the Nigerian economy, filled newspapers and airwaves, and even inspired a rare street demonstration. The bankers were going to have to open their books, the governor, Lamido Sanusi, warned them at a meeting. He wanted to see where the money was going — $20 billion from oil sales that, mysteriously, was not making its way to the treasury.

How did it end?

What was the punishment for this? The whistleblower was fired.Then the FG ordered an Audit of the NNPC. Audit report which later indicts NNPC. And the corporation was asked to refund just $1.48billion. Nigeria, indeed a nation of corruption without boundaries.

8. $15 million in Private Jet Arms Scandal

A private jet that conveyed $9.3 million cash from Nigeria to South Africa for an alleged arms deal between the two countries, had Nigerian crew members, and passengers from Israel and Austria. South African authorities seized the money insisting it has to be investigated before they return it.

How did it end?

Government claims involvement in scandal. No further explanations to individuals on board. Blames US for black market arms deal. Money was reportedly returned to Nigeria. But no one was indicted nor prosecuted it the case. What else do you describe as a nation of corruption without boundaries if not the Nigeria case?

Despite Commendable Efforts of EFCC Nigeria still looks like a nation of corruption without boundaries
Despite Commendable Efforts of EFCC Nigeria still looks like a nation of corruption without boundaries

9. Crude Oil Theft Scandal

According to President Goodluck Jonathan, 300,000-400,000 barrels of oil per day, or more than 10% of all Nigeria’s production, is being lost at a cost to the state and oil companies of around £1bn a month. To put this in perspective, that figure is more than the total amount  spent on education and the health of the entire population. Not only is Nigerian oil theft helping to keep the world price of oil high, it is causing corruption and social disorder, says the president.

How did it end?

You want to know what has been done since this revelation was made?  A certain ex militant was given contract worth billions of naira to secure the waterways.The result?  Rather than a decrease in oil theft, a marked increase is seen. All hail Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

10. Ekiti Gate

The audio recordings depict the meeting as being attended by the eventual “winner” of the election, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti; Senator Iyiola Omisore; a man identified as Honorable Abdulkareem; the Minister for Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade; and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro who was at the time the Minister of State for Defence. Mr. Chris Uba came to Ekiti with huge stash of cash and soldiers from the East to carry out the assignment. The 37-minute recording details the conversation between these men as they bribed Brigadier General Momoh with a promotion for his assistance in carrying out election fraud in Ekiti. In it, Obanikoro is clearly heard informing the group of men, “[I] am not here for a tea party, am on special assignment by the President.”

How did it end?

Nothing came out of it. The man that won that election enjoyed the position of a governor for 4 years. The other culprits all went home to enjoy their share of the largess. Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

11. Mohammed Abacha N446 Billion case

Mohammed Abacha is the eldest surving son of former Nigeria military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha. During his father’s military rule, Mohammed Abacha was involved in looting the government. A preliminary report published by the Abdulsalam Abubakar transitional government in November 1998 described the process.

The government under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan later Charged Abacha to court on nine counts of stealing in February 2014. It had accused him of unlawfully receiving about N446.3bn allegedly stolen from the government’s coffers between 1995 and 1998.

But in March 2015 when the case came up in court, the then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, asked Justice Mamman Kolo of the FCT High Court to strike out the charges on the grounds of “fresh facts” that just emerged concerning the case. He was silent on whether new charges would be filed against Mohammed or not. Efforts to arraign Mohammed on two previous occasions were unsuccessful because of his repeated absence from court.

How did it end?

You won’t believe it. That case is dropped for good. In fact as I write Mohammed Abacha is holding the governorship tick of PDP in Kano State and there is a good chance that he will become the governor of Kano State come 2023. Wonders shall never end. That is exactly the reward for corruption in Nigeria – a nation of corruption without boundaries.

12 N21 billion Air Force fraud by Adesola Amosu 

Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd) was accused by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) of fraud, involving the diversion of N21bn belonging to the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) . Unfortunately, despite overwheming evidence the case has dragged since 2016.

The anti-graft agency had moved to recover property linked to the former air chief after he initially offered to enter a plea bargain with the government. What else do you need to know about a man who knows his crime and seeking soft landing.

A whopping sum of N2.5 billion was found in his bank account at once.

How did it end?

Though EFCC obtained a final forfeiture of sums worth N2.5 billion, found in his bank accounts from a Federal High Court in Lagos, which was upheld by a Court of Appeal, also in Lagos, after it held that the defendant could not prove that the funds were not proceeds of an unlawful act, but the main trial continues in court, 6 years after. Unfortunately very few are confident that justice will be served as this has to do with Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

13. Babachir Lawal and the N544 Million Grass-Cutting Deal

Many people were looting for him as the running mate to Tinubu in the forthcoming general election. Hearing people say that should tell you everything about this case.

Lawal is facing a N544 million grass-cutting contract awarded to a company linked to him, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd, by the Presidential Initiative for the North-East (PINE).

He was arraigned on a 10-count charge before an FCT High Court over the deal, alongside his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday and the two companies.

How did it end?

The case is still dragging. But in Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries he could yet be rewarded with SSG or Chief of Staff to the president.

14. Sambo Dasuki $2.1 Billion Misappropriation of Arms Purchase Fund

A former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) was charged with misappropriation of $2.1bn arms purchase funds in 2015.

He is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir and their firm, Dalhatu Investment Limited.

$2.1 billion if you go with today’s exchange rate is about 1.3 trillion naira. The general feeling is that such amount could not have been diverted without other top government functionaries as accomplice. But in a nation of corruption without boundaries will the truth ever been known?

How did the case end?

Seven years after he was first arraigned in court, the trial was started afresh 2 months ago.

15. Diezani Alison-Madueke Diversion of $39.7m and N3.32bn

The former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, was alleged to have unlawfully diverted $39.7m and N3.32bn during her tenure as minister between 2010 and 2015.

Madueke is being charged with 13 counts of money laundering by the EFCC since November, 2018, before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had on May 12 2021, announced that the anti-graft agency had recovered 80 properties and the sum of $80m from Madueke.

A Federal High Court in Lagos had in 2019 granted final forfeiture of jewellery said to worth N14bn recovered from Madueke.

A breakdown of the items include: 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 189 wristwatches, 267 necklaces, and a customised gold iPhone.

How did it end?

The trial is yet to start. I think it is proving rather difficult to extradite her from the United Kingdom. And maybe, as usual, she is sick. Welcome to Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

16. Femi Fani-Kayode and N1.5 billion Corruption Proceeds

If you see this guy on National Television you will never believe that his name could appear on this kind of list. It is true that the case is yet to be proved. Butthe eloquent PDP, sorry, APC Chieftain is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Esther Nenadi Usman, Danjuma Yusuf and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited on a 17-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants conspired to directly and indirectly retain N300m, N400m and N800m, which they reasonably ought to know were proceeds of corruption.

How did it end?

Still in court. The last time the case was called in June 2022 his lead counsel Ahmed Raji was absent.

17. Ayo Fayose N6.9bn Fraud and Money Laundering Case

Fayose is being prosecuted by the EFCC over N6.9bn fraud and money laundering charges. He was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering.

How did it end?

On-going

18. Umar Fintiri and N2.9 billion Money Laundering Case

The EFCC filed a five-count charge of money laundering valued at N2.9bn against the former acting governor. EFCC had alleged that within the 3 months he was an acting governor of Adama State he had quickly laundered monies through his naira and dollar accounts domiciled at Ecobank Plc. And that he also made a large cash payment for the purchase of a property at Plot Number 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja.

How did it end?

Funny. Isn’t it? A man accused of stealing N2.9 billion naira did not only have the gut to contest for the number one position to rule the same state he has stolen from, but he was actually declared winner. So the trial of former acting governor has since and  stalled following his emergence as governor in February, 2019. And as we still there is hardly any hope as he will be contesting again come 2023

FYI: There is an immunity provision of Section 308 of the Nigerian constitution, 1999 that makes it impossible to try a sitting governor no matter what his crime may be.

That is the reality of Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

19. Sule Lamido and N1.351 Billion Money Laundering

Sule Lamido is former governor of Jigawa State. He was arraigned in September 2016 before Justice Adeniyi Ademola on a 43-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and money laundering, valued at N1.351bn.

He was charged with his two sons: Aminu and Mustapha; a former aide, Wada Abubakar and four companies: Baimana Holdings Ltd, Bamaina Company Nigeria Ltd, Bamaina Alumunium Ltd, Speeds International Ltd and Batholomew Darlington Agoha.

The case suffered a setback after Justice Ademola retired. It was re-assigned to Justice Chukwu, who passed away, forcing the matter to be re-assigned to Justice Babatunde Quadri.

How did it end?

On-going.

20. Abba Moro and N657.6 Million Immigration Fraud

Will Nigerian job seekers ever forget this man in a hurry? He is a former Minister of Interior and EFCC had accused him, alongside a former permanent secretary in the ministry, Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia and former director in the ministry, Felix Alayebami of defrauding applicants, of the sum of N657.6m in the 2013 Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment. This was after each applicant was asked to pay N1,000 via an online portal.

More than anything else, over 23 Nigerian graduates died in that ill-fated recruitment exercise. Moro is, since May 11, 2016, being tried before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

But how did it end?

Well, by now you should no longer be surprised at some of the turns in events. After all we are talking about Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries. So, back to Abba Moro. He is currently the senator representing Benue South. So in effect, he is now making laws for the same Nigerian youths he was accused of defrauding.

21. Bala Mohammed and Fraud of N864 Million

Bala Mohammed is a former minister of the FCT and current governor of Bauchi State. He was arraigned on May 10, 2017 by the EFCC on a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud, to the tune of N864m.

How did it end?

You already know. Just like in the case of Fintiri, Bala Mohammed’s case has been suspected as he is now the governor of Bauchi State.

The immunity provision in the Nigerian constitution means he will not be appearing in court any time soon.

22. Chimaraoke Nnamani and N4.5 Billion Fraud

A former governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaraoke Nnamani, was charged by EFCC 105 counts bordering on money laundering and fraud, valued N4.5bn during his time as a governor from 1999 to 2007.

How did it end?

The trial of Nnamani, who was charged alongside his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu, stalled since 2019 after the initial charges were withdrawn for amendment. By the way, Nnamani is sitting at the red chamber chilling as a distinguished senator making laws for us today. The story of Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

23. Murtala Nyako and N29 Billion Fraud

It will be hard to think of any state in Nigeria when it comes to having state governors without intentions to steal. But I think Adamawa State is particularly unlucky in this matter. They are probably only second to Abia State in the whole country. Fintiri was an action governor and in just 3 months he made away with nearly 3 billion naira. And now the main governor himself.

EFCC had accused Nyako, his son, Abdulaziz, his two aides: Zulfikk Abba and Abubakar Aliyu, of money laundering, to the tune of N29 billion.

How did it end?

On-going

24. Ikedi Ohakim

In Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries, all you need to become a billion is to hold public office even if it is for one day. Ikedi Ohakim served as the governor of Imo State for four years but it was enough to join the league of those who cannot be trsuted.

He is facng trial for at a Federal High Court in Abuja on three count charges of alleged concealment of an Abuja property worth $2.9.  EFCC witness, Abu Sule of Tweenex Concosiates HD Ltd stated that he bought the property on behalf of the ex-governor.

How did it end?

On-going

25. Gabriel Suswam and N3.1 Billion Fraud

Gabriel Suswam is a 2 term governor of Benue State. In his 8 years of been in office EFCC said he stole a total of N3.1bn, mainly from Benue shares from the Dangote Cement, which was meant for investment into the Benue Investment and Property Company Ltd.

Suswan, Nyako and Ohakim
Suswan, Nyako and Ohakim

How did it end?

The case has witnessed several twists since 2016. But the latest is that in February 2020, the Court of Appeal in Abuja ordered Justice Abang to hands off the matter and return it to Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

And while the case is on Suswan is not just a senator but the chairman senate committee on power. As chairman he is to oversee the probe of the N1.8 trillion Federal Government intervention in the power sector. Good luck to Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

26. Andrew Yakubu and the NNPC Largasse

The trial of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, has been ongoing since 2017. Any case of fraud involving NNPC is usually a mega one. Of course it is easy to understand seeing that is where almost all the revenue comes from. So those heading it have unlimited and unrestricted access to the nation’s treasury

The EFCC had charged Yakubu of money laundering after the sums of $9,772, 800 and £74,000 were recovered from his home in Kaduna, Kaduna State, on February 3, 2017. Pause for a moment and ask yourself a question. If a man can keep $9.8 million cash carelessly at home how must must such a person have siphoned?

How did it end?

Supposedly on-going

27. Saminu Turaki and N36 Billion Misappropriation 

Saminu Turaki, who served two terms as governor of Jigawa from 1999 to 2007, was first arraigned by the EFCC before Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 13, 2007, on a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36 billion while in office as governor.

Those charged with him are INC Natural Resources Ltd, Arkel Construction Nigeria Ltd and Wildcat Construction Ltd.

How did it end?

14 years after, the case is still in court.

28. Orji Uzor Kalu and N7.5 Billion Money Laundering Case 

Although a former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu’s case of money laundering, to the tune of N7.5bn was concluded on December 5, 2019 and he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, the Supreme Court, on May 8, 2020, nullified his conviction for being hinged on an “unconstitutional” provision of section 396(7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

How did it end?

Orji Uzo Kalu is well relaxed in the senate hoping for a chance to become the President of the senate soon.

Kalu has challenged fresh moves by the EFCC to re-arraign him before a Federal High Court in Abuja, insisting that it would amount to double jeopardy.

29. Mohammed Adoke and $1.1 Billion Malabu Oil Deal

The EFCC is prosecuting Mr Mohammed Adoke,  a former Attorney General of the Federation for alleged involvement in the controversial $1.1 billion Malabu Oil deal. He was charged alongside a controversial businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, and others before various courts in the country.

How did it end?

On-going

30. Late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and $55 Million Loot

The former governor of oil rich Bayelsa State infamously dressed like a woman to escape the long arm of the law in The UK.

New York Times later reported that Alanieyeseigha may have embezzled as much as $55 million during his time as governor.

How did it end?

He later pleaded guilty to two of the counts against him and was sentenced to two years in prison in 2007. But one might want to ask. If Nigeria is not a nation of corruption without boundaries where does all those money go to, especially now that the looter is no more?

31. Lucky Igbenedion and $24 Million Embezzlement 

The former governor of Edo State, who was accused and convicted of embezzling $24 million in 2008.

He went down as the first Nigerian governor to be convicted of looting public funds, after the Nuhu Ribadu – led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him with 142 counts of corruption.

How did it end?

Ridiculous as usual.

Igbenedion was fined N3.5 million after he pleaded guilty to one count of corruption. He was initially sentenced to six months in prison, but pled to pay as an alternative and was surprisingly granted.

That was how Igbenedion gained his freedom and his family is now enjoying all he stole at the expense of the people of Edo State.

32. James Ibori Embezzlement of $250 Million

The former governor of Delta State was convicted of stealing $250 million by a London court in 2012 and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Prior to his conviction in the United Kingdom, Ibori had been arrested by the EFCC. He was charged with stealing public money, abuse of office and money laundering, first in 2007 and later in 2010.

How did it end?

It is one of the positives of the fight against corruption in Nigeria that Ibori was convicted after admitted such level of unimaginable embezzlement against Delta State.  Also some of his loot were recovered and repatriated to Delta State.

But you would want to ask if the result would have been the same if it was left in Nigeria, a nation of corruption without boundaries.

33. T. A. Orji and N521 Billion Heist 

The former governor of Abia who has long been on EFCC’s watchlist, was in August 2021 intercepted at the Nnamdi International Airport, Abuja and driven to the headquarters of the EFCC in Abuja.

He was quizzed alongside his son, Chinedu, the current speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly. EFCC is accusing Orji and his son of stealing N521 Billion during his 8 years as governor of Abia State.

T. A. Orji alleged stealing of N521 Billion is a prove that Nigeria is a nation of corruption without boundaries
T. A. Orji alleged stealing of N521 Billion is a prove that Nigeria is a nation of corruption without boundariesHow

How did it end?

Quite strangely, EFCC is yet to charge T. A. Orji to court. You recall that the former 2nd Vice-President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Monday Ubani haf earlier filed an apology seeking to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to prosecute Theodore Orji and his son Chinedum for allegedly embezzling Abia State funds.

Meanwhile Orji is still at the senate as a lawmaker while his son is the speaker of Abia State House of Assembly.

And the people of Abia State? They are still waiting for the day they will be lucky to get a governor.

34. Ahmed Idris and N80 Billion Diversion 

When you Accountant General is a thief then you are in real trouble. Unfortunately that is exactly what Nigerians woke up to discover on the 16th of May 2022.

EFCC Operatives effected the arrest of Mr Ahmed Idris, who is a former Accountant General of the Federation on May 16 over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

This is perhaps the latest of high profile cases in Nigeria that makes one believe it is a nation of corruption without boundaries.

How did it end?

Mr. Idris was released on administrative bail. And Nigerians can only hope that something comes out of this. EFCC has however announced that they are charging Mr. Idris to court soon.

35. NIRSALAlleged N150 Billion Fraud

A report had broken in 2021 which alleged a fraud amounting to N150 billion NIRSAL fund. The allegation fingered the NIRSAK Boss Aliyu Abbati AbdulHameed as the key figure in the fraud which diverted most of the funds that should have gone to farmers.

As an approved Entrepreneurship Development Institute by CBN I know better the frustration farmers and other SMEs go through yet unable to secure this money. So I am not surprised at the allegations that the money is been diverted into private pockets.

The report also mentioned the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as been privy to this.

How did it end?

It is just a mere allegation for now.

36. Rochas Okorocha N2.9 Billion Corruption Case

The dramas about Rochas encounter with EFCC is still fresh for all to remember.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  has charged the senator and former governor of Imo State, with allegations he conspired with others, including an APC politician and five companies, to steal N2.9 billion from public coffers.

How it ended?

On-going

Other Cases of Corruption in Nigeria

37. Olisa Metuh – N400 Million

38. Raymond Dokpesi – N2.1 billion

39. Bala James Ngilari – N167 Million

40. Joshua Dariye – N2 billion

41. Jolly Nyame – N1.64 billion

42. Tafa Balogun  – N5 7 billion

43. 2 Bullion Vans before 2019 General election

44. $50,000 per delegate in PDP Presidential primaries in 2022

45. Abacha Loot

And finally, I will not fail to mention the mother of all corruption cases in Nigeria  – the Abacha Loot.

Though it may be difficult to place a hand on the figure stolen and hidden in many offshore accounts, Transparency International once said Abacha may have stolen up to $5bn between 1993 when he assumed office and 1998 when he died. Of this amount, successive governments made recoveries. As at the last count up to $2.6 billion has been recovered. But multiple sources claim that part of this money may have been relooted. In fact, there us no evidence among ordinary Nigerians regarding the recovery.

How is the Proceeds of Corruption Spent?

If someone decides to steal 80 billion naira what could possibly be his plan for it? I mean what exactly are you going to do with stolen money that huge? In fact, only thinking about this in a rational manner will make you doubt the figures.

Latest and most expensive cars in the world

Expensive jewelries

Houses in choice places in Europe and America

And also new wives

And not forgetting funding the next election

Before I sign off

Multiple reports have it that over 10 billion dollars have spent sby successive administrations in the power sector. Unfortunately, the result is outright darkness.

Over N4 trillion naira have been spent on Ajaokuta Steel Company but guess what? It is still not working. In fact the country still spends as much as N837.761 billion on the importation of iron, steel, and other metals.And this is not even in a year, but just the third and the fourth quarters of 2021.

Did I say anything about the fact that none of Nigeria’s refineries is working after all these years. What about NDDC and all the contract racketeering?

Well, my take here is actually a country that corruption could not kill. It is a miracle that somehow the country has managed to survive to this point.

Sonetimes I can’t help but wonder how rich Nigeria is to have survived all of these. I doubt if even America, China, Russia or any of the world powers would have survived this.

However, I also think that 2023 presents a perfect opportunity to change this narrative by electing leaders with conscience. I mean leaders who will be accountable to the people. But until then, Nigeria still looks like nothing but a nation of corruption without boundaries.

Also Read: Highest Paid CEOs in Nigeria in 2021 – The Top 10

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