Nigerian military leadership on Thursday denied allegations of corruption made by the Transparency International (TI) organization in a newly released report that finds the country’s fight against Boko Haram is compromised by corruption within the ranks.
Major General John Enenche called the organization’s work an “unprofessional report” during a press briefing, and urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by its allegations.
The “Weaponising Transparency” report, released by TI’s Defense & Security sector in London, charges that corrupt Nigerian officials continue to benefit from a conflict that has claimed some 50,000 lives to date.
“With oil prices low and conflict at a high, defence has become the new oil for Nigerian kleptocrats,” said Katherine Dixon, director of the Defense & Security arm of TI.
“Taking on the defence sector was a bold move by President Buhari,” she said in a statement. “But on their own efforts to bring the corrupt to justice are not enough. Detailed anti-corruption reforms are needed to prevent the next US $15 billion quietly leaving Nigeria through the back door.”
Dixon was referring to the announcement a year ago by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that losses to fraudulent security spending and pervasive money laundering cost the nation an amount he estimated at half of Nigeria’s entire foreign reserves.
Former national security advisor Sambo Dasuki was arrested in 2015 as part of an investigation into the losses, but his trial was postponed again this week when the government failed to produce him before the High Court in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Osinbajo campaigned and won on an anti-corruption platform, but the TI report insists too little has been done and efforts to combat corruption are poorly organized.
A copy of the report is available at this link.
Image: Defence HQ Nigeria