Questions raised over Nigeria’s anti-corruption drive


Sambo Dasuki (R) along with Malam Bashir Yuguda, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa
Several high-profile Nigerians are facing charges as part of a drive against corruption but there are concerns the government is settling old political scores and flouting due process.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to recoup what he said were “mind-boggling” sums of public money stolen under previous administrations to fulfil a campaign pledge to end graft.
This week, the government claimed just 55 people stole more than $6 billion between 2006 and 2013, leaving Nigeria in the lurch as its economy struggles due to the global oil price slump.
But it is former national security advisor Sambo Dasuki who has become the key figure in the anti-corruption campaign.
The former army colonel is accused of looting billions of dollars that were aimed at buying weapons and equipment for troops fighting Boko Haram Islamists.
Cash is alleged to have been diverted instead to members of former president Goodluck Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fund his failed re-election campaign.
Dasuki was granted bail last month but has been kept in custody without access to his legal counsel as he awaits the start of three trials, his lawyer Joseph Daudu told a court in Abuja on Wednesday.
Dauda said the detention was a “brazen affront” to the judiciary and the judge agreed.
“I don’t see how I can be conducting a criminal trial without the presence of the accused person,” said judge Adeniyi Ademola. “You can set a dangerous precedent as it is.”
President Muhammadu Buhari
– Old habits? –
Dauda later claimed Buhari was reverting to his old autocratic habits from his days as military ruler in the 1980s.
“He (Buhari) emphasised he was a changed man, open to democratic principals. But interfering with the court system, trying to find your own rule of law, is not good,” he told AFP at his …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper