The United States government has described as “widespread and pervasive” the manifestation of corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari adminstration.
The U.S. in its 2020 annual report on human rights said president Buhari’s government has failed to take action to curb widespread looting and corruption using existing laws that criminalise theft in public service.
“Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not consistently implement the law, and government employees frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity,” the U.S. report said. “Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government, including the judiciary and security services.”
The report also noted that the president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors have continued to enjoy the immunity clause in the Constitution that shields them from facing charges while in office.
President Muhammadu Buhari came into office in 2015 on the back of a widely publicised claim of fighting corruption. However, he has failed to live up to his promise to fight corruption, with criminal activities amongst his officials being regularly reported.
The president has also continued to looked away as his officials and political associates, including Tunde Fashola and Bola Tinubu, faced credible allegations of corruption and looting.
The U.S. report also corroborated the findings of corruption watchdog Transparency International, which has consistently found that both President Buhari and his officials have been even more corrupt than previous governments they ridicule before coming to power.
The U.S. report comes as President Buhari departed for London on his usual medical treatments, leaving behind striking doctors at public health facilities across the country.