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Buhari’s Anti-Graft War Selective, Says AU Diplomat

A diplomat and consultant with the African Union, Dr Babafemi Badejo, has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the political will to fight corruption, despite his touted anti-corruption posture.

According to Badejo, under the Buhari administration, Nigeria’s main anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has been de-institutionalised.

The diplomat said the Buhari anti-corruption fight was manifestly selective, citing the case of former governor Danjuma Goje, against whom the government dropped N5bn fraud charges.

Badejo spoke at an international conference to commemorate the Second African Union Anti-Corruption Year, according to a statement.

The conference, which held in Abuja, was sponsored by the Pan-African Strategic Research Group and Centre for Democracy and Development.

Badejo said, “It is safe to conclude that the Buhari administration lacks the will to fight corruption.

“The perception, though constantly denied, is clearly out there that prosecution through the EFCC is only for Nigerians who are either weak or are in opposing parties and/or critical of the government in power.

“The EFCC itself is being de-institutionalised by the actions of the Buhari administration.”

He added, “President Buhari condones some of those alleged to be corrupt and his recent use of nolle prosequi in the case of Senator Danjuma Goje further undermines his perception as a Nigerian of integrity.

“An individual will engage in corruption if the incentives to do so outweigh the disincentives.”

To truly defeat corruption, Badejo said what the government needed to do was to tackle factors that encourage corruption.

“The government must go beyond the punitive approach to undertake a holistic focus that looks at factors that accentuate the desire to perpetrate various forms of corruption and address these without throwing the punitive orientation overboard,” Badejo said.

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