An amount of approximatively $15bn (£10bn) was stolen from the fight against militant Islamists in Nigeria under the previous government. …

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Nigeria: about $15bn stolen from the fight against terrorism under the previous administration

An amount of approximatively $15bn (£10bn) was stolen from the fight against militant Islamists in Nigeria under the previous government.

 

As reported by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said money was diverted through fraudulent arms contracts.

Legal proceedings have already been initiated against several allies of ex-President Goodluck accused of awarding fake arms contracts worth $2bn. They have refuted any wrongdoing.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who took power last year, has made the fight against corruption a priority and has expressed his willingness to recover "stolen funds".

People targeted by charges include former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, ex-military chiefs and several contractors. They have all pleaded not guilty.

Delivering a speech at a university in the south-western city of Ibadan, Mr Osinbajo stated that the amount stolen was more than half of Nigeria's current foreign exchange reserves of $27bn. "It is important to send a message that no public officer can steal the resources of this country and expect to escape," he added.

Africa's largest economy and oil exporter has been coping with the global slump in crude prices. This western African country has been going through its worst economic crisis in decades, with two-thirds of the country's 36 states having difficulties to pay salaries to workers.

The government recalls that it inherited an "empty treasury" when it took office last year.

Mr Buhari's political opponents accuse him of waging a witch-hunt against the previous administration headed by Mr Goodluck Jonathan who ruled Nigeria from 2010 to 2015.

 

(With BBC Africa)

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