Nigeria: President's Pardon of Gov. Convicted of Stealing Millions Draws Ire

Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted of stealing millions receives pardon from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was convicted of stealing millions, receives pardon from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. (Google Images)

The Associated Press is reporting that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s pardon of a politician convicted of stealing millions has outraged the nation. Jon Gambrell of the Associated Press writes:

“Nigeria has pardoned the former political benefactor of the nation’s president, a presidential adviser said Wednesday, a politician convicted of stealing millions of dollars while serving as a state governor.

The decision from a closed-door meeting Tuesday of the Council of State to pardon former Bayelsa state Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha drew immediate outrage across Nigeria, an oil-rich nation long considered by analysts and activists to have one of the world’s most corrupt governments.

While the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan repeatedly says it is fighting the entrenched system of graft that strangles Nigeria, the leader has shared stages before with convicted politicians. Meanwhile, the country’s largely opaque budgets and loose regulatory controls continue to allow for hundreds of millions of dollars more to be stolen annually.”

Alamieyeseigha was caught with $1 million in cash in his home in London in 2005.  He fled London dressed as a woman to Nigeria where he had immunity from prosecution while in office. He was impeached for illegally operating foreign accounts in London, Denmark and the U.S., acquiring property valued at $10 million. Alamieyeseigha plead guilty to the charges which paved the way for Jonathan, a marine biologist, to ascend to power.

Many Nigerians are disappointed and outraged by this latest decision which flies in the face of President Jonathan’s proclamation to end corruption in the country. A few weeks ago, President Goodluck referred to Alamieyeseigha as his “boss” at an event in Lagos.

Read more at Yahoo News.

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