Nigerian President Fires Anti-Corruption Chief

Posted November 23rd, 2011 at 9:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has fired the head of the country's anti-corruption agency, who had been criticized for incompetence.

A government statement Wednesday said Mr. Jonathan has relieved Farida Waziri of her post as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC.

Waziri was replaced with Ibrahim Lamorde, who was previously the EFCC's director of operations.

The statement did not say why Waziri was removed. But in a report this August, Human Rights Watch said many observers believed Waziri lacked the leadership ability to push the agency's work forward.

The anti-corruption group Transparency International regularly ranks oil-rich Nigeria as among the most corrupt nations in the world, although other African nations rank lower.

Human Rights Watch said the country's governing elite squanders and siphons off much of the nation's oil wealth, leaving little for health services and education.

The group's report noted the EFCC has arraigned 30 prominent political figures but said many of those cases had made little progress in the courts. Human Rights Watch called on President Jonathan to “fix” the agency.

Earlier this week, Waziri gave a speech where she said Nigeria's endemic corruption could be at least partly blamed on lack of political will and an ineffective judiciary.