Nigeria: Follow The Money


November 23, 2007: The former (1999- May 2007) governor of River State (the Niger River Delta), James Ibori, is under investigation in Britain, where bank auditors have found he had opened bank accounts containing nearly $40 million. Nigerian governors are paid about $25,000 a year. In Nigeria, corruption investigators have established a paper trail between money intended for education and health care in River State, being transferred to James Ibori, and thence to banks in Britain. This sort of blatant theft has become less possible as corruption investigators have become more active, and more resistant to bribes and intimidation.

November 22, 2007: Five suspected al Qaeda terrorists arrested last month, were charged with belonging to terrorist organizations. Three of the five Nigerian Moslems were accused of receiving terrorist training in Algerian camps. The five are accused of being sent to attack Nigerian oil production.

November 18, 2007: In the Moslem north, fighting broke out in Kano, as gangs representing opposing political parties fought over accusations of vote rigging in recent local elections. At least six died before police, and a battalion of 500 soldiers, arrived and dispersed the crowds. This sort of violence is common throughout the country.

November 17, 2007: No one has taken responsibility for the November attack on the Cameroon border, that left 21 Cameroonian police dead. Locals insist the attackers were Nigerian soldiers. Nigeria denies involvement, but Nigeria does not have control over all those who wear Nigerian army uniforms.

November 16, 2007: The navy has seized 260 ships and barges in its campaign to shut down oil theft and smuggling. This criminal enterprise still goes on, although at reduced levels. The navy did not mention how many sailors have been bribed by oil thieves, to let the oil racket continue.

November 15, 2007: Another pipe line was blown up in the Niger River Delta. Up to 50,000 barrels a day in exports are halted until repairs can be made. The MEND rebels took credit for the attack. Such attacks have cut production by nearly half a million barrels a day.


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