Controversy over Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign

ABUJA, Nigeria – The Nigerian government led by President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party is continuing its anti-corruption campaign by pursuing a number of corruption cases through the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). However some, particularly in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have accused the APC of using the campaign as a means to clampdown on opposition political parties.

Critics of the campaign have highlighted that investigations into members of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari’s party have been extremely limited, despite allegations of money laundering and diversion of state funds.

Some positive changes have been achieved since the appointment of, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu as chairman of the EFCC in November 2015. But a recent investigation by a Punch newspaper journalist found that assets seized from Timipre Sylva, a member of the APC party and former Governor of Bayelsa State in southern Nigeria, have been returned.

Sylva’s assets were stripped from him during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and he has been accused of using three shell companies to divert approximately 19.2 billion from Bayelsa State between 2009 and 2012 when he served as Governor.

ArmedPolitics spoke to an EFCC official who denied any knowledge of the assets being returned to Sylva but said they would investigate the allegations. According to EFCC, they originally seized 48 properties from Sylva, including a mansion.

(Written by Adedayo Osho; Edited by Omar Nor & Steve Shaw)