‘Fear of Buhari’: Nigeria’s rich lying low amid graft crackdown


President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
Business is slow at the moment for Benedict Okafor, who sells luxury cars from a lot near the port in Nigeria’s financial capital, Lagos.
In the capital, Abuja, 535 kilometres (333 miles) away, the property market seems to be in a rut, with the habitual buyers — the monied elite — staying away.
“I normally sold five cars every month before” President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, said Okafor. “But in the past four months I have sold only one Toyota car.
“I guess rich people are scared.”
Jide Agboola, a real estate agent in Abuja, also attributed the current slump in conspicuous consumption to fear: “The fear of Buhari.”
It’s not hard to see why, when Buhari’s promised crusade against high-level corruption has already snared a series of household names.
Senate leader Bukola Saraki — Nigeria’s third-most senior politician after Buhari and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo — is facing charges of false declaration of assets.
Godswill Akpabio, the former governor of coastal Akwa Ibom state, was hauled in for questioning over claims he had stolen 108 billion naira ($540 million, 475 million euros) while in office.
Sule Lamido, the governor of Jigawa state in the north, and Gabriel Suswam, who was governor of Benue state until earlier this year, are also fighting accusations of graft.
At the same time, former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arrested in London as part of a British investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering.
– Stopping the rot –
Buhari’s arrival in May appears to have given fresh bite to the fight against corruption, which has plagued Nigeria over decades of military rule then civilian administration.
Cases involving top officials that were long thought to have been shelved have been revived, as he seeks to fulfil his election promises of stopping the rot in the system.
“As soon as he (Buhari) came …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper