14 ex-govs fingered in N21 trillion, $47.4 billion alleged fraud in 15 years.Adunni Adetola
About 14 former governors, eight former Ministers, Special Advisers, and five senators are among 100 high-profile individuals fingered in alleged corruption cases involving N21. 63 trillion and $47.4 billion over the past 15 years. 73 other suspects were outside of the three categories. N7. 9 trillion and $17. 8 billion of the alleged fraud involved men, N8.9 trillion and $20 billion involved women while N4.2 billion and $9. 6 billion involved corporate bodies, according to a report.
The alleged fraud (N21. 63 trillion) is almost equal to the 2023 budget of N21.83 trillion of the Federal Government and the Ways and Means debt of N22.7 trillion the Federal Government is owing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Reacting to the report, Justice Richard Goldstone (retd), a former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a member of the Board of a non-governmental organization that pushes for the establishment of a permanent International Anti-Corruption Court, said it was important that the trials of those charged should be pursued with vigour and efficiency
The 77- page document released by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, otherwise known as HEDA Resource Centre, also shows that of the 100 cases considered, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, handled 79, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences, ICPC, 13, SPIPRPP and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, one each while CCT handled none.
The years of documentation are between 2007 and 2022. The document is entitled ‘A Compendium of 100 High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria’ and is dated November 22, 2022. It is supported by MacArthur Foundation and is in the 6th edition. 63% of the corruption cases representing 63 cases concern fraud, 20 (20%), money laundering, 6 (6%), corruption, 5 (5%), misappropriation of funds, 4 (4%), embezzlement while 1 (1%) is bribery and forgery, each.
On the status of the cases, the largest number, 61, are said to be ongoing as of the date of publication (November 22, 2022), 10 pending, two dismissed, 11 sentenced, and property of one seized while two cases are stalled. There were also 12 convicted cases out of which some were later discharged by higher courts.