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Nigeria-Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,Dick Cheney,Domestic Corruption and Supranational Intervention .

Dick Cheney

According to Saharareporters,an online community of international reporters and social advocates, “former US Vice President, Dick Cheney, may soon have a “red notice” issued for his arrest as the Nigerian authorities today(7/11/2010) officially filed corruption charges against him before a Federal Capital Territory High Court judge in Abuja.Prosecutors in the Federal Attorney General’s office, led by Godwin Obla, confirmed to Saharareporters from the Office of the Minister of Justice that Nigeria has officially filed 16 -count charges to bring Dick Cheney to trial for corruptly enriching Nigerian officials when he led Halliburton, an oil services firm that distributed over $180 million to top Nigerian officials in order to obtain juicy contracts from the Nigerian government.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is spearheading the trial of Mr. Cheney and others. According to Mr. Obla, the next steps include issuing a bench warrant and seeking the help of the Interpol to track dow and arrest Mr. Cheney to enable him face trial in Nigeria.”

A lot of Nigerians feel that the economic and financial crimes commission,EFCC,in pursuing Dick Cheney,is putting the cart before the horse.The feeling is that the EFCC should have first gone  after the Nigerian recipients of the alleged bribes.In other words,the EFCC should name and prosecute the “big men”,probaby top government officials,who collected the alleged bribes.The EFCC seeming unwillingness or inability to go after the Nigerians involved in the alleged bribe incident,underscores the problems faced by domestic law-enforcement agencies created to fight against domestic political corruption,in Africa.Given that most of the people allegedly involved in acts of corruption are top government officials and their cronies,it is difficult for an agency appointed and funded by the same government to indict them.

With no one to keep them in check,top government officials are a law on to themselves.They behave with impunity.It is no wonder that the main reason Africa is poor,is because it’s leadership is poor and corrupt.Very corrupt.When the sole motivation for seeking public office is self-aggrandizement,meaningful and sustainable development will not happen.Instead,a culture of impunity and corruption will be fostered.In such an atmosphere,people of integrity will stay out of government,further denuding the system of much needed expertise and quality.If Africa is to overcome poverty and disease,it’s best hands must be on deck.This will happen only in a corruption-free and meritocrtatic system.The fight against corruption will succeed only if top government leaders,past and present,can be held accountable for their actions.

This is where the Dick Cheney case comes in.For me,the big issue here is not the culpability or otherwise of mr Cheney.Rather, it is in the fact that,by bringing charges against a former vice president of the US,we are signing-up to the international police frame-work.We now accept that,our own leaders,past and present,are subject to criminal charges,originating outside our own borders.Given the limited domestic capacity for dealing with the depredations of our leaders,the imminence of supranational interdiction of domestic corruption,calls for celebrations.Supranational is here defined as the ability to act beyond national borders.This means that supranational intervention can be achieved through the efforts of the UN or member-states.

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4 responses to “Nigeria-Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,Dick Cheney,Domestic Corruption and Supranational Intervention .

  1. samsung 40 1080p lcd hdtv ln40a530 December 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Sweet site, I hadn’t noticed henryik2009.wordpress.com before in my searches!
    Keep up the great work!

  2. codliveroil December 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Really interesting.

    You hit the nail on the head, the EFCC as it is currently constituted is not taken seriously by anyone be it Dick Cheney the former vice president of no lesser nation than the United States of America, or the average low life politician in Nigeria.

    I think Nigerians made themselves look foolish by raising this case. They have no means to enforce it. How strong is strength of the case they can bring? Will stand up to international scrutiny?

    My next point is because Nigeria’s courts and judicial system is in a pitiful state. Does that mean, we should allow supranational bodies, to sweep away any vestige of national sovereignty and dignity? I think not. I don’t see China or India bowing to foreign laws and allowing them to overrule their own national laws so that they surrender their citizens. The most they would do is try the alleged guilty ones within their own courts under their own jurisdiction. National laws trump international ones.

    Even Sudan, not acknowledged to be a world power by any measure, no one in Africa has dared lay a hand on President Omar El-Bashir (he travelled to Chad and Kenya). Omar El-Bashir has an international warrant for his arrest issued by ICC international criminal court. So let us not think that allowing foreigners to ride rough-shod over Nigeria’s sovereign laws will curb corruption, it won’t, it will just add to the already unsightly mess. The buck lies with Nigerians to sort out the corruption issue. Externalising it only compounds the problems. I don’t see any country in the world surrendering their nationals to Nigeria for prosecution no matter how strong the case apparently is.

    • henryik2009 December 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Hi codliveroil
      Thanks for your comment.I understand your concerns about sovereignty,but the way the Halliburton case was handled proves my point.We were told bribes were given by somebody,yet we were not told who received the bribes.If Nigerian authorities were up to the job,one would not advocate supranational intervention,as it would be unnecessary.Do not forget that political corruption in Nigeria usually involves money laundering,as the loot is sent abroad.So international laws are also involved.

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