News / Africa

Rights Group: Despite Dismissal, Reforms Still Needed in Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to Butty interview with Albin-Lackey of Human Rights Watch

James Butty

A U.S.-based rights group says Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s sudden decision to fire the chairman of the anti-corruption commission will not solve the agency’s longstanding problems.

President Jonathan Wednesday dismissed Farida Waziri as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC.  A government statement did not say why she was removed.

Chris Albin-Lackey, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, says Nigeria must carry out broad institutional reforms if the country is to make real progress in its fight against corruption.

“I think the important thing to bear in mind is that, however one feels about Waziri, firing her isn’t going to make things that much better or worse for the EFCC, unless the government starts to tackle some of the institutional reasons why that institution’s role in the fight against corruption has been a bit disappointing,” he said.

Albin-Lackey said the government’s failure to give reasons for Waziri’s dismissal points to one of the major problems that the EFCC has had - which is executive interference.

“The president should not be able to fire the chairman of the EFCC at will without even explaining why it is happening.  As long as the head of the commission can be stopped by the president for no reason, it’s not going to be able to be independent and be able to do its job in any kind of respected manner,” Albin-Lackey said.

He said Nigeria’s “weak and overburdened judiciary” has also been an obstacle to the effective prosecution of corruption cases.

“The institutions that it [EFCC] has to work [with] in order to do its job, in order to effectively prosecute anyone, have to be made more functional.  A lot of the EFCC’s most important cases have been bogged down, literally, for years in procedural delays in the courts.  And, unless the courts are empowered and also pressured into handling some of these cases in more expeditious manner, justice delayed will continue to be justice denied,” Albin-Lackey said.

Waziri was replaced with Ibrahim Lamorde, who was previously the EFCC's director of operations.

Albin-Lackey said it was not clear whether Waziri’s dismissal was an indication of President Jonathan’s renewed commitment to fight corruption.

“As to whether this signals a good or bad change on the part of the president and his policies toward the fight against corruption, it really all depends on what happens next.  If this is followed up by nothing, then I think it’s pretty hard to interpret [it] as a good sign, but if Waziri’s firing is followed by serious reforms to address some of the things that prevented the EFCC from working as well as it could, then there will be reason to be optimistic,” Albin-Lackey said.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid