News / Africa

Nigeria Pardons Ex-Governor Jailed for Corruption

Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha stands outside his house guarded by policemen in Yenagoa, Nigeria, in this photo dated November 27, 2005.
Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha stands outside his house guarded by policemen in Yenagoa, Nigeria, in this photo dated November 27, 2005.
Heather Murdock
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has pardoned a former state governor who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars while in office. The move has sparked outrage among critics who say the president has abandoned the fight against corruption. 

Former Governor of Bayelsa State in Nigeria, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, used to be President Goodluck Jonathan’s boss, and is described as a friend and mentor. In 2005 he was impeached after being convicted of corruption, having been accused of stealing millions of dollars before he was arrested in Britain.  A presidential advisor says on Tuesday he was granted a pardon and is now free to return to political life.
 
Critics say pardoning the governor signals disrespect for the rule of law and an end to the president’s crusade against corruption in Nigeria.
 
Transparency International ranks Nigeria as the 37th most corrupt country in the world.
 
Presidential adviser Doyin Okupe says respect for rule of law includes respect for institutions created by the law, like the Council of States, which approved the presidential pardon.

“We must begin to honor and respect institutions that were created by us," said Okupe. "Otherwise what is the point?  It’s like the parents. It is not everything the parents says that is acceptable to the children.  But in due course we always find out that the parents were right.”
 
President Jonathan served as deputy to the former governor and has described him as a ‘political benefactor.’ Supporters say the pardon was an act of loyalty.  Critics say the pardon could have been a political move ahead of Nigeria’s upcoming 2015 presidential elections.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Muhammad NaIya from: Zaria, Nigeria
March 14, 2013 6:54 AM
Naturally when the presidency acts like a provincial administration where issues are divided along regional/ethnic lines, this is an expected natural outcome.
Unfortunately, this makes a mockery of the war against corruption especially coming hard on the heels of the unresolved Pension Fraud and |Ghost Workers on the Federal Payroll.

by: Adamu Abdulkareem Biu from: Zaria, Nigeria
March 13, 2013 1:26 PM
You can imagine the type of leadership Nigeria has. What type of corruption is Nigeria fighting? releasing Alamieyesiagha means encouraging corruption, and increasing insecurity for my dear country. Because every evil minded person rich or poor will have the opportunity to continue to steal public fund and do all kind of atrocities. Is left to my fellow country men and women.Your faith is in your hands come 2015.

by: nik from: US
March 13, 2013 10:37 AM
No wonder the people are fighting the government.
In Response

by: Ben Oludare from: Ibadan
March 15, 2013 6:53 PM
The president's action indicate that he was also involved in the looting of Bayelsa State treasury since he was the second-in-command during the period. Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, used to be President Goodluck Jonathan’s boss, and is described as a friend and mentor. This action has confirmed that we are being ruled by rubbers and tugs. [Remember FELA of blessed memory 'Animal dey wear agbada']. We should pray GOD to deliver us from them all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs