Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nigeria: Former President Pardoned

ABC News reports that Nigeria has pardoned former Bayelsa state Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha after "a closed-door meeting" by the Council of State. The result was "immediate outrage across Nigeria." A former police office called the pardon the "final nail that tells the story of fighting corruption in Nigeria today." Alamieyeseigha:
... was arrested in London after more than $1 million in cash was found in his home there. He was then impeached and charged in Nigeria with illegally operating foreign accounts in London, Cyprus, Denmark and the United States. Investigators said he acquired property in Britain and Nigeria worth more than $10 million. The disgraced governor later pleaded guilty.
The pardon was described as a "group decision," although ABC notes under Nigeria's constitution, only the current president (Goodluck Jonathan) has the power to grant it. Doyin Okupe, an adviser to Jonathan, explains the pardon as follows:
"It is like a parent, it is not every decision a parent takes that is palatable or acceptable to the children. But in due course, we always find out the parents were right ... The man has been displaced from his office as governor, he was hounded and tried and jailed. ... What is eminently wrong, you know, in giving a remorseful sinner pardon?"
See story here.

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