Corruption comes in different forms

Murdoch phone hacking scandal which in recent months rocketed the news in the British media and politics is undoubtedly a sophisticated example of corruption from a Western magnate empire. The media conglomerate of Murdoch has dominated the UK sector of news production and distribution for many decades, having all politicians from both main political parties to bow at his influence on their careers, until his malpractices were recently exposed.

But African kind of corruption appears comparatively less refined. For example, the Nigeria context of financial malpractices from politicians that wikileak published wouldn’t stand in the face of a well functioning state with efficient auditing and third parties mechanisms of accountability. Please read the following cases which highlight how Nigeria oil wealth serves first of all the president before anybody else.

Posted By: Elombah Perspective To: Members in For a Corruption-Free Nigeria!

Another wikileak revelation: Obasanjo stole 2.8 billion dollars from NNPC accounts – Atiku

[elombah.com] Is a President of Nigeria empowered by law to whimsically order the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to release money to him, and it’s automatically done just like that? What is the chain of authority in the NNPC according to law? That is the question agitating some Nigerian minds in light of US Diplomatic cable revelations published by wikileaks that former President Olusegun Obasanjo withdrew 2.8 billion dollars from NNPC accounts.

Atiku told the US Ambassador in 2007, that he has documents, authorized by President Obasanjo, directing NNPC director Funsho Kupolokun to divert the funds from NNPC and cover them under the NNPC’s “overhead” budget. “This is a blatant disregard of the budgetary process and removes oversight from the National Assembly,” he complained. Further, he claimed that this was the primary method by which the President and
his aides funnel money to their various projects, including the bribery of National Assembly and party members and financing the PDP campaign machinery.

elombah.com notes this is blatant stealing of public funds and Obasanjo is not the only past president guilty of this crime.

In another US diplomatic cable report of March 7, 2008, it was claimed that President Yar’Adua instructed the General Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abubakar Yar’Adua, on February 20 to release $57 million from the NNPC to Attorney General Aondoakaa. In turn, Aondoakaa would use the money to bribe the five-justice panel of the Presidential Election Tribunal and the Chiefs of Defense and Army Staff.

Nigerian Presidents treat NNPC money as their private estate.

Indeed it was claimed in another diplomatic cable that the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission, NNPC (beginning under former President Obasanjo’s administration) allocated USD 1.00 per barrel of Nigerian oil sold as a type of personal payment or “kickback” to the President.

Thus Maitama Sule, former Nigerian ambassador to the United Nations (1979-1983) and confidant of late President Umaru Yar’Adua, said Yar’Adua turned down approximately $60 million, which had been offered to him by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the President’s personal “share” of Nigeria’s monthly oil earnings (Nigeria has produced around 2 million bpd, though production has dropped recently to 1.8 million bpd).
Sule said, the NNPC (beginning under former President Obasanjo’s administration) allocated USD 1.00 per barrel of Nigerian oil sold as a type of personal payment or “kickback” to the President.
While Yar’Adua reportedly ordered his “share” to be deposited into the nation’s treasury, Sule claimed that the First Lady pocketed her husband’s reported share, while Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Dimeji Bankole pocketed USD 0.50/barrel (e.g., $30 million).

In order words, Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan may be pocketing around $200 million Monthly as his “personal share” of Nigeria’s monthly oil earnings, since Nigeria currently produces 2.17 million barrels per day of oil at a higher oil price of around $90 pb.

Back to the 2007 diplomatic cables, then vp Atiku said that he had been concerned about his safety shortly after disclosing that expenditure of 2.8 billion dollars for arms “disguised as needed in order to pacify the Delta,” he had been forced to move out of his official residence. He said he had been worried about an attack or arrest in the wake of the disclosures when Presidential spokesmen had accused him of “treason” for discussing the expenditures.

Atiku went on to assess his opponents in the upcoming Presidential race. He described PDP candidate Umaru Yar’Adua as unpopular and unknown and said that the PDP ticket would be unable “to win even a single state in the North.” He described Vice Presidential candidate Goodluck Jonathan as another non-performer and claimed that he would be unable to win “his own Bayelsa state.” While he did not think the President would substitute for the candidates, Atiku did say that Obasanjo was extremely concerned by the party’s prospects. He pointed to the security incidents in the Southwest and in Port Harcourt and the examples of crowds attacking the Presidential party in Nasarawa, Bauchi, and Kaduna states during the campaign launches.

Atiku described ANPP candidate Muhammadu Buhari as popular but lacking in political savvy. He said that Buhari looked “tired,” and wondered about his health. “They have talked about typhoid or malaria or something,” Atiku said.
He claimed that Buhari’s organization was unable to raise cash for his campaign and said that talks were continuing on the oft-touted alliance between Buhari’s ANPP and Atiku’s AC parties.

For the complete and unedited wikileak diplomatic cables upload, visit www.elombah.com/news

 

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