Pre-Independence and the First Republic- Corruption, though prevalent, was kept at manageable levels during the First Republic.However, the cases of corruption during the period were sometimes clouded by political infighting.
Azikiwe was the first major political figure investigated for questionable practices. In 1944, a firm belonging to Azikiwe and family bought a Bank in Lagos. The bank was procured to strengthen local control of the financial industry. Albeit, a report about transactions carried out by the bank showed though Azikiwe had resigned as chairman of the bank, the current chairman was an agent of his. The report wrote that most of the paid-up capital of the African Continental Bank were from the Eastern Regional Financial Corporation.
- In western Nigeria, politician Adegoke Adelabu was investigated following charges of political corruption leveled against him by the opposition. The report led to demand for his resignation as district council head. In 1962, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was indicted and the Coker commission of enquiry was set up, which found that a substantial amount of money was missapropriated from the coffers of the Western regional government.
- In the Northern region, against the backdrop of corruption allegations leveled against some native authority officials in Bornu. The Northern Government enacted the Customary Presents order to forestall any further breach of regulations. Later on, it was the British administration that was accused of corrupt practices in the results of elections which enthroned a Fulani political leadership in Kano, reports later linking the British authorities to electoral irregularities were discovered.Gowon Administration-Corruption for the most part of Gowon’s administration was kept away from public view until 1975. However, some informed officials voiced concerns, Gowon critics labeled his governors as misguided individuals acting like lords overseeing their personal fiefdom. He was viewed as timid, in terms of being decisive against corrupt elements in his government.
- In 1975, a corruption scandal surrounding the importation of cement engulfed his administration. Many officials of the defence ministry and the central bank of Nigeria where involved in the scandal. Officials were later accused of falsifying ships manifest and inflating the amount of cement to be purchased.It turned out that Nigeria had ordered 20 million tons of cement from 68 international suppliers for delivery at Lagos when that port could accept only one million tons of cargo per year. When basic supplies became stalled in the inevitable port congestion, Nigeria attempted to impose an emergency embargo on all inbound shipping and to repudiate the contracts. In turn, its enraged suppliers tied up the country in litigation around the world for many years.
- During the administration, two major individuals from the middle belt of the country were accused of corruption. The Nigeria government controlled newspapers: the Daily Times and the New Nigerian gave great publicity to denunciations of the administration of Gomwalk, and Federal Commissioner Joseph Tarka by the two critics. A situation which may signal a cause for exigent action on corruption.
- In 1975, the administration of Murtala Mohammed later went on and made reformist changes. After a coup putsch brought him into power, the government sacked a large number of government officials and civil servants, many of whom had been criticized for the misuse of power they wielded under the largely uneducated military of Gowon.
- 1976 – 1979: General Olusegun Aremu Matthew Okikiola Obasanjo’s tenure, rulers started owning large properties running into millions of dollars
Shagari Administration- Corruption was deemed pervasive during the administration of Shagari.
- A few federal buildings mysteriously went on fire after investigators started probe on the finances of the officials working in the buildings.
- Late 1985, investigations into the collapse of the defunct Johnson Mathey Bank of London shed some light on some of the abuses carried on during the second republic. The bank acted as a conduit to transfer hard currency for some party members in Nigeria. A few leading officials and politicians had amassed large amounts of money. They sought to transfer the money out of the country with the help of Asian importers by issuing import licenses.
- In 1981, a Rice shortage, led to accusations of corruption against the NPN government. The shortages and subsequent allegations were precipitated, by protectionism. After his election the Nigerian government decided to protect the local rice farmer from imported commodities. A licensing system was created to limit the amount of rice import. However, accusations of favoritism and government supported specuhttps://udeozochibuzo.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phplation was leveled against many officials.Buhari Administration
- In 1985, a cross section of political gladiators were convicted of different corrupt practices under the government of General Buhari. However, the administration itself was involved in a few instances of lapsed ethical judgment. It is on record that the General himself was on his way to removing a Nigerian colonel from the army before his exit from power, though the removal may signal a hard-line on corruption, it is a far cry from the 10–22 years of imprisonment, politicians under Shagari were sentenced to.
Babangida Administration- The regime of General Babangida is seen as the body that legalized corruption. His administration refused to give account of the Gulf War windfall, which is estimated to be $12.4 billion. He annulled a democratic election in Nigeria on June 12, 1993 and decided to instate Ernest Shonekan as his successor in August 27, 1993 when he stepped down as head of the military regime. However, within 3 months of the handover, General Sani Abacha seized control of the government while Babangida was on a visit to Egypt. He lives in a very exquisite mansion in his home state (Niger-state) in the Northern part of the country.
Abacha Administration-The death of the general Sani Abacha revealed the global nature of graft. French investigations of bribes paid to government officials to ease the award of a gas plant construction in Nigeria revealed the global level of official graft in the country. The investigations led to the freezing of accounts containing about $100 million United States dollars.
- In 2000, two years after his death, a Swiss banking commission report indicted Swiss banks for failing to follow compliance process in allowing family and friends of Abacha access to accounts and depositing amounts totaling $600 million US dollars into the accounts. The same year, a total of more than $1 billion US dollars were found in various accounts throughout Europe.
- 13. 2010 – Present: President Nnamdi Azikiwe Ebele Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, full of noise but empty of substance. Spends about a billion naira per year for food for himself, wife and two kids. In the 2011 election year about 2.6 trillion naira just disappeared from the public till, which is the highest disappearance of public funds per year in the country’s history! Intolerant of criticisms. Suffers acute inferiority complex and seems to dislike any war against corruption. A former Education Minister and Vice President of the World Bank, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili accused his government and that of his immediate predecessor of not accounting for about 67 billion dollars! Since then his government has been responding in the manner of a headless chicken. They are busy insulting the woman instead of stating in facts and figures what they did with the money. In fact, the SUNDAY PUNCH newspaper of 25/11/2012 pointedly said about 31 billion dollars were stolen since his government came to being on May 6, 2010. seems like His government looks promising to hold the medal for the most corrupt in the world!
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