A recently released report by the Department of Sate of the United States of America has described Nigeria as a safe haven for corruption under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018.
The report entitled “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018,” explained that “Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services.
Recall that Nigeria was in 2018 ranked 144 out of 180 countries in the Transparency International corruption perception index (CPI), with a 27/100 score.
In its report of corruption in Nigeria in 2018, US Department of State said Nigerian Constitution “provides immunity from civil and criminal prosecution for the president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors while in office. There were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.”
It added, “Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”
Citing examples of several human rights issues, the report said though Buhari’s government took steps to investigate some of the cases, it did not “adequately” prosecute offenders.
“The government took steps to investigate alleged abuses but fewer steps to prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government. Impunity remained widespread at all levels of government. The government did not adequately investigate or prosecute most of the major outstanding allegations of human rights violations by the security forces or the majority of cases of police or military extortion or other abuse of power.
“Reports indicated soldiers, police, CJTF and others committed sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls and such exploitation and abuse was a major concern in state-run IDP camps, informal camps, and local communities in and around Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and across the Northeast.
“Authorities generally did not hold police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody.
“Due to the inability of law enforcement agencies to control societal violence, the government continued to turn to the armed forces to address internal security concerns. The constitution authorizes the use of the military to suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore order.” Armed forces were part of continuing joint security operations in the Niger Delta, Middle Belt, and Northwest,” it said.
It also described prisons in Nigeria as remaining largely overcrowded with inmates badly tortured and their rights violated.
The report claimed that some inmates have remained in detention over loss of their case files by the authorities.
It said though government never interfered with the investigation and reportage of the abuses that it, however, dismissed. Them upon release without probing them.