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Former Nigerian Ministers Held in Aviation Probe


Police in Nigeria have arrested two former government ministers as part of an investigation of aviation-industry corruption.

Officials at Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) say former aviation ministers Babalola Borishade and Femi Fani-Kayode were Monday after testifying at a senate hearing on Monday. The former managing director of Nigeria's federal aviation agency, Roland Iyayi, also was detained.

The commission is investigating the misuse of 165 million dollars intended to improve the country's airline infrastructure.

An Austrian contractor, George Eider, assigned to upgrade control towers at four Nigerian airports was arrested last week for allegedly inflating the cost of the projects.

The air-industry corruption probe is the latest in a series of parliamentary investigations of the administration of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Nigeria has long been considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world, but since taking office last year, President Umaru Yar'Adua has declared a "zero tolerance" policy toward bribe-taking, embezzlement and similar crimes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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