After being elected in 2015, much was expected from the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari especially in the area of anti-corruption probes in a bid to clean up Nigeria’s civil service, government offices and bad image.
Most Nigerians believe the anti-corruption war has been defeated, while some believe it is a lopsided war since till 2017, the administration has not been able jail any suspect especially with the believe that no members the President’s party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, or administration, has been probed or detained.
But that’s changed yesterday (Oct. 30), when the secretary to the government of the federation and Nigeria’s most senior civil servant presidency was announced sacked Babachir David Lawal, as well the director general of Nigeria’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke. Both men had been suspended since April.
Lawal was implicated in findings of $8m fraud scandal by Nigeria’s Senate last December. The money was meant for rebuilding Nigeria’s northeast after a decade of devastation by terrorist sect, Boko Haram. For his part, Oke was suspended following controversy around $43 million cash haul find by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency. In the wake of the find, the NIA made a claim for the money, causing scrutiny of the agency’s finances.
The sackings come after weeks of pressure by civil society groups for the president to act on findings of the panel set up to investigate both men.
Nigeria’s corruption problems are globally famed and recently became well-documented. In August, Nigeria’s statistics bureau released its first ever large-scale report on corruption in the country and, predictably, the findings were grim: Nearly a third of Nigerian adults who had contact with local public officials in the period under review reported cases where bribes were solicited or paid. The bureau also estimated the total amount of bribes paid to public officials amount to $4.6 billion in purchasing power parity terms—around 39% of Nigeria’s federal and state budgets for education in 2016, (Quartz Africa).