Cablegate: Gon Withdraws Ministerial Corruption Charges

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A


B. ABUJA 764
D. 03 ABUJA 2080

1. The Nigerian government's prosecutor withdrew the
corruption charges against six senior ex-officials of the GON
June 2, and Abuja High Court Judge Mudashiru Oniyangi
dismissed the case. Labor Minister Husseini Akwanga had been
indicted, then fired, in December 2003, clearing the way for
Akwanga, former Interior Ministers Mohammed Shata and Sunday
Afolabi, Interior Ministry PermSec Akerele, former state
governor and past Secretary of the ruling PDP Okwesilieze
Nwodo, and Interior Ministry Director Christopher Agidi to be
tried on 16 counts of corruption in a scandal over Nigeria's
National ID Card project (Refs B-D). The core charge was
that the ministers and their collaborators allegedly received
over USD 2 million from a Nigerian business partner of the
French firm Sagem S.A. to ensure Sagem won the USD 214
million National ID Card project contract.

2. The accused received bail, and the trial has been
postponed several times since December. The judge and
prosecution team were both changed. Indicted ex-Minister
Afolabi died May 10 under strange circumstances in London
(Ref A). Although the Independent Corrupt Practices
Commission (ICPC) may re-file charges against the five who
survived, Judge Oniyangi freed the suspects from any
remaining bail restrictions and returned their passports.

3. COMMENT: The six, now five, were the most senior group
of officials ever indicted in the Obasanjo administration's
"war on corruption." Post analysis of the prosecutor's
dropping of the case and future prospects will follow septel.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>