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Vol 47 No 19

Published 22nd September 2006


Nigeria

Pots, kettles and corruption

Allegations about President Obasanjo and his deputy mean a livelier if not cleaner election

While President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Atiku Abubakar sling mud at each other, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), an official anti-corruption body led by Nuhu Ribadu, has given Nigerians a taste of more to come and of the manner in which the political elite has operated state accounts in recent years. Not only could the corruption investigations remove several leading players from contention in next year's national elections, they may also outlaw the key role played by the country's biggest political financiers. Speaking at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Singapore on 18 September, Ribadu rejected claims that his investigations were politically partisan. He was helped by an endorsement of Obasanjo's anti-corruption campaign from World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz: 'The president of Nigeria is making a strong effort to deal with corruption... taking on corrupt officials at a level that was unheard of in his country.' Increasingly, the investigations touch on international links in the web of corruption.

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