£220bn stolen by Nigerias corrupt rulers

#1
So this is why we need a Live8. A good read for a Monday morning, something to make your blood boil. Don't think its been raised on here yet.

£220bn stolen by Nigeria's corrupt rulers
By David Blair in Abuja
(Filed: 25/06/2005)

The scale of the task facing Tony Blair in his drive to help Africa was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that Nigeria's past rulers stole or misused £220 billion.

That is as much as all the western aid given to Africa in almost four decades. The looting of Africa's most populous country amounted to a sum equivalent to 300 years of British aid for the continent.


Former leader Gen Sani Abacha stole between £1bn and £3bn
The figures, compiled by Nigeria's anti-corruption commission, provide dramatic evidence of the problems facing next month's summit in Gleneagles of the G8 group of wealthy countries which are under pressure to approve a programme of debt relief for Africa.

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, has spoken of a new Marshall Plan for Africa. But Nigeria's rulers have already pocketed the equivalent of six Marshall Plans. After that mass theft, two thirds of the country's 130 million people - one in seven of the total African population - live in abject poverty, a third is illiterate and 40 per cent have no safe water supply.

With more people and more natural resources than any other African country, Nigeria is the key to the continent's success.

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, set up three years ago, said that £220 billion was "squandered" between independence from Britain in 1960 and the return of civilian rule in 1999.

"We cannot be accurate down to the last figure but that is our projection," Osita Nwajah, a commission spokesman, said in the capital, Abuja.

The stolen fortune tallies almost exactly with the £220 billion of western aid given to Africa between 1960 and 1997. That amounted to six times the American help given to post-war Europe under the Marshall Plan.

British aid for Africa totalled £720 million last year. If that sum was spent annually for the next three centuries, it would cover the cost of Nigeria's looting.

Corruption on such a scale was made possible by the country's possession of 35 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. That allowed a succession of military rulers to line their pockets and deposit their gains mainly in western banks.

Gen Sani Abacha, the late military dictator, stole between £1 billion and £3 billion during his five-year rule.

"We are only now beginning to come to grips with some of what he did," Mr Nwajah said.

Nigeria has scoured the world for Abacha's assets but has recovered only about £500 million.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the current president, founded the commission and launched a crackdown on corruption to try to end the country's reputation as Africa's most venal. The figures all apply to the period before he came to power.

The amount of money involved has prompted the Government to seek ways to enhance Britain's ability to help developing countries recover stolen funds. In the autumn the Government will introduce legislation to pave the way for British ratification of the United Nations convention against corruption.

A money laundering directive agreed by EU finance ministers this month will impose new responsibilities on banks, casinos and other establishments to be more alert to signs of corruption. They will be expected to help stamp out financial abuse by high-risk customers in a position to abuse public office for private gain.

Mr Obasanjo will travel to the G8 summit to press the case for debt relief. Nigeria is Africa's biggest debtor, with loans of almost £20 billion, because previous rulers not only looted the country but also borrowed heavily against future oil revenues.

The G8 has refused to cancel Nigeria's loans, despite writing off the debts of 14 other African countries this month.

Prof Pat Utomi, of Lagos Business School, said that was the right decision. "Who is to say you won't see the same behaviour again if it is all written off?" he said.
Origin: Telegraph
 
#4
It was the fault of the colonialist europeans anyway, so said their lawyers who are preparing to sue the UK, on legal aid or lottery grant whichever is the greatest.
 
#5
Some of this $MONEY$ may be heading MY way!...according to a Mz. Abacha...

DEAR WEATHERMAN1956,

URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

I AM MARIAM ABACHA, WIDOW OF THE LATE NIGERIAN HEAD OF STATE, GEN. SANI ABACHA. AFTER HE DEATH OF MY HUSBAND WHO DIED MYSTERIOUSLY AS A RESULT OF CARDIAC ARREST, I WAS INFORMED BY OUR LAWYER, BELLO GAMBARI THAT, MY HUSBAND WHO AT THAT TIME WAS THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, CALLED HIM AND CONDUCTED HIM ROUND HIS APARTMENT AND SHOWED HIM FOUR METAL BOXES CONTAINING MONEY ALL IN FOREIGN EXCHANGE AND HE EQUALLY MADE HIM BELIEVE THAT THOSE BOXES ARE FOR ONWARD TRANSFER TO HIS OVERSEAS COUNTERPART FOR PERSONAL INVESTMENT.

ALONG THE LINE, MY HUSBAND DIED AND SINCE THEN THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN AFTER US, MOLESTING, POLICING AND FREEZING OUR BANK ACCOUNTS AND EVEN MY ELDEST SON RIGHT NOW IS IN DETENTION. MY FAMILY ACCOUNT IN SWITZERLAND WORTH US$22,000,000.00 AND 120,000,000.00 DUTCH MARK HAS BEEN CONFISCATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE GOVERNMENT IS INTERROGATING HIM (MY SON MOHAMMED) ABOUT OUR ASSET AND SOME VITAL DOCUMENTS. IT WAS IN THE COURSE OF THESE, AFTER THE BURIAL RITE AND CUSTOMS, THAT OUR LAWYER SAW YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS FROM THE PUBLICATION OF THE NIGERIAN BUSINESS PROMOTION AGENCY. THIS IS WHY I AM USING THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SOLICIT FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION AND ASSISTANCE TO HELP ME AS A VERY SINCERE RESPONSIBLE PERSON. I HAVE ALL THE TRUST IN YOU AND I KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT SIT ON THIS MONEY.

I HAVE SUCCEEDED IN CARRYING THE FOUR METAL BOXES OUT OF THE COUNTRY, WITH THE AID OF SOME TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, WHO STILL SHOW SYMPATHY TO MY FAMILY, TO A NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY (ACCRA-GHANA) TO BE PRECISE. I PRAY YOU WOULD HELP US IN GETTING THIS MONEY TRANSFERRED OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY. EACH OF THESE METAL BOXES CONTAINS US$5,000,000.00 (FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) AND TOGETHER THESE FOUR BOXES CONTAIN US20,000,000.00(TWENTY MILLION UNITED STATESDOLLARS ONLY). THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT WE HAVE MOVED TO GHANA.

THEREFORE, I NEED AN URGENT HELP FROM YOU AS A MAN OF GOD TO HELP GET THIS MONEY IN ACCRA GHANA TO YOUR COUNTRY. THIS MONEY, AFTER GETTING TO YOUR COUNTRY, WOULD BE SHARED ACCORDING TO THE PERCENTAGE AGREED BY BOTH OF US.PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MATTER IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AS THE GOVERNMENT WHICH MY LATE HUSBAND WAS PART OF IS STILL UNDER SURVAILLANCE TO PROBE US.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME THROUGH MY FAMILY LAWYER AS INDICATED ABOVE AND ALSO TO LIAISE WITH HIM TOWARDS THE EFFECTIVE COMPLETION OF THIS TRANSACTION ON TEL/FAX N0:xxx-x-xxxxxxx AS HE HAS THE MANDATE OF THE FAMILY TO HANDLE THIS TRANSACTION.

THANKS AND BEST REGARD

MRS. MARIAM ABACHA

:oops:
 
#6
Iuts funnier when you receive a batch of thse at the same time. Just foward each of the letters to each of the senders and let them argue out which is is really Mrs Abacha
 
#7
my stepfather worked for a large electronics firm in the 60/70s and, surprise surprise, it was common practice in any dealing in nigeria to include 5-10% to any bid for bribes and backhanders. These were multi million pound contracts and i don't expect anything has changed.
 

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