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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Nigeria anti-graft report 'sickening'
anti graft Nigeria report
Corruption is part of everyday life for Nigerians
A Nigerian politician has described as sickening the findings of a presidential investigation into officials who profited from the sale of assets.

Speaking to reporters, Transport Minister Ojo Madueke said the extent of corruption made one weep for Nigeria.

He said: "The report is sickening, a report that makes you want to weep for this nation in terms of how the elites have cheated our common interest."

You can understand why this government has been battled and vilified because of the big toes we have been stepping on

Ojo Madueke
Transport Minister

President Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the probe into the sale of government properties after he was elected in 1999 as part of a crusade against corruption in Nigerian society.

Mr Madueke also called the document most depressing.

"You can understand why this government has been battled and vilified becuase of the big toes we are stepping on," he said.

The inquiry found that six people, and the former minister of mines and power, acted wrongly when they sold land cheaply to themselves, friends and family.


Obasnajo: he set up probe
The apparently "big toes" being stepped on are those of ex-minister, Bashir Dalhatu, the former managing director of the state-owned Nigeria Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) and four of its then executive directors.

They have all been banned from holding public office in Nigeria.

The commission of inquiry has also ordered that the land be retuned to the state.

Since he came to power, President Obasanjo has pledged to rid the country of corruption, rampant during years of military rule. Most corrupt nation

But an investigation into corruption in Nigeria's national assembly last year uncovered evidence of massive misuse of public funds.

This was followed by a report by the international anti-corruption group, Transparency International, in 2000 which ranked Nigeria as the most corrupt country in the world, up from 27th the year before.

See also:

11 Nov 99 | Africa
Nigeria confronts corruption
08 Apr 00 | Africa
Nigeria plane row takes off
10 Jun 99 | Africa
Nigeria purges military
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