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Massive looting continues under Buhari, Osinbajo’s watch – U.S.

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 Massive looting continues under Buhari Osinbajo s watch U S

Despite repeated claims that the ruling APC regime has recorded substantial success in tackling corruption and preventing looting of Nigeria’s treasury, the U.S. government’s verdict is that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo have not covered themselves in glory as massive looting continues.

The U.S. said Messrs Buhari and Osinbajo, including governors, took advantage of the immunity attached to their positions to perpetuate corrupt acts and misappropriation of public funds.

This indictment is contained in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, covering internationally recognised individual, civil, political, and worker rights.

 

In a section of the report titled ‘Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government’, the American government noted that while Nigerian laws penalised corruption, enforcement was not followed through.

The report said this allowed government employees, including elected officials, to partake in corrupt practices.

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“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government, including the judiciary and security services. The constitution provides immunity from civil and criminal prosecution for the president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors while in office,” said the report.

The report, which covers 198 countries and territories, noted ongoing human rights abuses and violations worldwide evident in the regression of democratic systems on several continents.

It stressed there were numerous allegations of government corruption despite the so-called anti-corruption campaign of President Buhari’s regime. Corruption is increasing in the country, with Nigeria ranking 154 out of 180 countries according to the Transparency International 2021 Corruption Index.

Mr Osinbajo’s involvement in violating federal campaign finance laws, as Guaranty Trust Bank donated at least N200 million to his campaign coffers, Peoples Gazette had reported.

The financial records said GTBank’s Investment One fund management department paid N200 million in three increments of N100 million, N50 million and N50 million to Mr Osinbajo’s campaign account in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election in which he stood as the running mate of Mr Buhari.

Since 2020, The Gazette has exclusively exposed a series of scandals involving Mr Buhari’s ministers, aides, political allies, and controversial appointments into public offices.

In February 2021, The Gazette reported that Mr Buhari’s political aides and loyalists were appointed to Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

In December, The Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) testified to the high level of corruption and tribalism under Mr Buhari’s regime, evident in the tenure extension of current director-general Ahmed Rufai, despite internal protests against his reappointment.

The former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, also described Mr Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign as “ineffective” as looters who joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) would have their cases swept under the carpet.

Garba Shehu and Laolu Akande, spokesmen for Messrs Buhari and Osinbajo, respectively, declined The Gazette’s request seeking comments on their principals’ indictment by the U.S. report.

 

(PEOPLES GAZETTE)

 

 

 

 

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