In any country $647 million is a lot of money to steal, but in a country where most of the population scrapes by in abject poverty, it is venality in the extreme.
Yet this is the amount that three Nigerian state governors — elected officials — are accused of embezzling during their terms in office. In Nigeria’s federal system, state governors are immensely powerful and often control huge budgets.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested the ex-governors of Nasarawa, Ogun and Oyo states on Thursday.
The EFCC outlined the scale of the alleged fraud saying that Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State stole $167 million, Aliyu Akwe Doma of Nasarawa State stole $120 million and Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State stole a staggering $387 million.
The three accused men are all members of President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party.
According to local newspapers, other governors are also in the EFCC’s sights.