Top 12 Corruption Cases In Nigeria

Top 12 Corruption Cases In Nigeria

Editor’s note: Over the last four years, there have been several alarming and scandalous cases of corruption in Nigeria. Some perpetrators have been taken to court, some cases were never even investigated as many of the cases remain unsolved.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of

Story highlights:

- It is believed that Alhaji Maina misappropriated billions of naira worth of pension funds.

- Nigeria's parliament has discussed a report said to reveal that $6bn (£4bn) has been defrauded from the fuel subsidy fund in the past two years.

- The government had charged Abacha to court on nine counts of stealing against Mohammed in February 2014.

(Nigerian Eye) - This is a list of the Top 12 corruption cases of the last four years. Here's hoping this will be a wake up call for the EFCC to take action.

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1. N195 Billion Maina Pension Scam

It is believed that Alhaji Maina misappropriated billions of naira worth of pension funds, which he claimed to have recovered from pension thieves. The senate committee probing pension funds management accused him of mopping up pension funds from banks and depositing the money in his private accounts. According to the committee, this mopping of such funds had made it impossible to pay thousands of pensioners across the country for months. When he was summoned to appear and clear the air on the committee’s findings, Alhaji Maina instituted a N1.5bn case against the senate and the inspector general of police. Things came to a head last week when the senate passed a resolution asking the presidency to sack Alhaji Maina within two days or face its wrath. Although the presidency had initially insisted that only the head of service could sack Maina, it subsequently changed its tone and ordered that disciplinary action should be taken against him for absconding from his duty post without permission.

Punishment: None fled Nigeria.

2. Kerosene Subsidy Scam 

The Former Governor of the Central bank and Now Emir of Kano Mr Sanusi had shown that the kerosene subsidy was eliminated in 2009 by a directive of the late president Umaru Yar’Adua. Further evidence, in the form of official data from across Nigeria, shows that nowhere in the country is kerosene sold at a subsidised rate. It is bought by the NNPC at N150, sold to marketers at N40-N50, but retails at N170-N250. Mr Sanusi estimates that $100m goes astray this way each month.

“The margin of 300-500 per cent over purchase price is economic rent, which never got to the man on the street. In dollar terms every vessel of kerosene imported by NNPC with federation money cost about $30m and it was sold at $10 or $11m generating rent of $20m per vessel to the syndicate,” he writes.

It was learnt that since the national assembly members concluded their investigations, no officials of the NNPC or the marketers have been sanctioned, thus emboldening them to continue to import kerosene and allocate to themselves and their cronies.

Apparently due to alleged pecuniary benefits, the NNPC has continued to import kerosene and allocate in questionable circumstances to individuals and groups at the ex-depot price of N40.90.

But rather than selling the product at the subsidised price of N50 per litre at filling stations, the beneficiaries of these allocations sell the product to middlemen at N95 or N100 per litre at the gates of the depots.

These middlemen, it was learnt, truck the product to the filling stations and sell between N130 and N150 per litre.

It was alleged that marketers give some of their allocations to some top PPMC officials to ensure that they turn blind eye to the scam.

The failure of the NNPC to implement a presidential directive removing subsidy from kerosene has fuelled suspicion among the stakeholders.

Punishment: None.

3. $6bn Fuel Subsidy Scam

Nigeria's parliament has discussed a report said to reveal that $6bn (£4bn) has been defrauded from the fuel subsidy fund in the past two years.

The debate, which was televised live, made official findings that have been widely leaked in recent days.

The fuel sector probe was set up in the wake of angry nationwide protests in January after the government tried to remove a fuel subsidy.

Nigeria is a major oil producer but has to import most of its fuel.

Notable members of the PDP or their families were involved in the scam like Mamman Ali and Mahmud Tukur.

Punishment: Ongoing court cases, no convictions. House of reps report tainted by Farouk Lawan bribery setup.

4. 123bn Naira Fraud - Stephen Oronsaye

A damning report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has indicted a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye, over an alleged N123billion fraud perpetrated during his tenure, between 2009 and 2010.

The 169-page report, entitled “Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions,” according to an online news medium, Premium Times, found Oronsaye guilty of allegedly presiding over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.

The audit by the auditor-general arose from the work of a Special Audit Team constituted by the federal government in May 2011 to conduct a comprehensive examination of the accounts of the Civilian Pension Department domiciled in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, uncovered monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Oronsaye served as Head of Service.

But no action has been taken to bring all those indicted to book.

Punishment: No action taken.

5. Police Pension Fund Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the ex-permanent secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, now a director in the Police Pension Office, Atiku Abubakar Kigo; the chief accountant, Mrs. Uzoma Cyril Attang, and four others before an Abuja high court on an 18-count charge of conspiracy, breach of trust and embezzlement of N32.8 billion police pension funds.

The six accused persons were docked before Justice Hussain Baba to whom the case was reassigned following a controversial judgement of the first trial judge, Justice Abubakar Talba: he gave a light sentence to one of the accused, John Yusuf, who pleaded guilty to a three-count charge.

But Attang, who was arraigned by the EFCC for the first time in connection with the alleged fraud, was granted N10million bail and two sureties in like sum.

Those who were re-arraigned include Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Mrs Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula, Sani Habila Zira, Christian Madubuike, and John Yusuf who had been convicted.

Punishment: accused got a two years sentence or 750,000 fine. Paid 750,000.

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6. Stella Oduah car purchase scandal

The committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to probe the N255m bulletproof car scandal in the aviation ministry has indicted the Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah.

It was gathered in Abuja that the report of the presidential committee tallied with some findings of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the scandal.

In October, there were reports that with the approval of the minister, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority purchased two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255m.

The development sparked a countrywide controversy with many Nigerians and groups calling for her sacking.

Punishment: None.

7. NNPC missing $20billion naira

Even in a country where untold oil wealth disappears into the pockets of the elite, the oil corruption scheme he was investigating seemed outsize — and he threatened to lay it bare at a meeting with Nigeria’s top bankers.

The whistleblower was none other than the governor of the country’s central bank. Weeks later, however, he was out, fired by Nigeria’s president in an episode that has shaken the Nigerian economy, filled newspapers and airwaves here, and even inspired a rare street demonstration.

The bankers were going to have to open their books, the governor, Lamido Sanusi, warned them at the recent meeting. He wanted to see where the money was going — $20 billion from oil sales that, mysteriously, was not making its way to the treasury, in a country that could soon be declared Africa’s biggest economy and already attracts the most direct foreign investment on the continent, according to the United Nations.

Punishment: Whistle blower was fired. The FG ordered an Audit of the NNPC. Audit report later indicts NNPC, corporation to refund $1.48billion

8. $15 million in Private Jet Arms Scandal

A private jet that conveyed $9.3 million cash from Nigeria to South Africa for an alleged arms deal between the two countries, had Nigerian crew members, and passengers from Israel and Austria.

Punishment: government claims involvement in scandal. No further explanations to individuals on board. Blames US for black market arms deal.

9. Crude Oil Theft Scandal

According to President Goodluck Jonathan, 300,000-400,000 barrels of oil per day, or more than 10% of all Nigeria's production, is being lost at a cost to the state and oil companies of around £1bn a month – more than is spent on education and the health of the nation's 168 million people. Not only is Nigerian oil theft helping to keep the world price of oil high, it is causing corruption and social disorder, says the president.

Punishment: None,  ex militant given contract worth billions to secure waterways. Rather than a decrease in oil theft, a marked increase is seen.

10. Ekiti Gate

The audio recordings depict the meeting as being attended by the eventual “winner” of the election, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti; Senator Iyiola Omisore; a man identified as Honorable Abdulkareem; the Minister for Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade; and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro who was at the time the Minister of State for Defence. Mr. Chris Uba came to Ekiti with huge stash of cash and soldiers from the East to carry out the assignment.

The 37-minute recording details the conversation between these men as they bribed Brigadier General Momoh with a promotion for his assistance in carrying out election fraud in Ekiti. In it, Obanikoro is clearly heard informing the group of men, “[I] am not here for a tea party, am on special assignment by the President.”

SaharaReporters further received credible intelligence that President Goodluck Jonathan had instructed the Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh, to use the army in arresting and intimidating opposition politicians before and during the election. The audio recording provides exact details of the plot, with the collaborators almost degenerating into physical combat.

11. Mohammed Abacha N446 Billion case

The government had Charged Abacha to court on nine counts of stealing against Mohammed in February 2014.

It had accused him of unlawfully receiving about N446.3bn allegedly stolen from its coffers between 1995 and 1998.

But on Wednesday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, asked Justice Mamman Kolo of the FCT High Court to strike out the charges on the grounds of “fresh facts” that just emerged concerning the case.

He was silent on whether new charges would be filed against Mohammed or not.

Efforts to arraign Mohammed on two previous occasions were unsuccessful because of his repeated absence from court.

But he was present in court on Wednesday when a private prosecuting counsel, Daniel Enwelum, informed the court of Adoke’s instruction to discontinue the case.

Applying to court for the withdrawal of the case, Enwelum said, “I have been instructed by the AGF and Minister of Justice to withdraw the charges as presently filed before this court, because there are fresh facts and documents available to him.

Punishment: None.

12. N7Billion Bribe to Christian Religious Leaders

On the 4th of February, The Director-General, Buhari Presidential Campaign organisation, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, accused some church leaders of taking N7 billion in bribes from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to campaign against the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

Governor Amaechi, at the APC’s governorship campaign rally, in Emohua Local Government Area, Rivers State, said already, the religious leaders were allegedly distributing leaflets all over that Buhari had plans to Islamize the country if elected.

Amaechi called on the pastors to return the alleged bribe collected from the PDP.

By the 19th of February, A Borno-based Pastor, Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, said that the money that was given to pastors by the President was actually N7bn and not N6bn as alleged by Amaechi.

The PDP has since denied this.


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