Demoralizing pardon

The Story
Unnamed officials of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have expressed dismay over the recent presidential pardon of convicted ex-governors Dariye and Nyame.

How did the pardon affect them?
Premium Times reports that the officials noted that their morale and commitment to work have been affected by the controversial pardon, as they accused President Muhammadu Buhari of sabotaging the anti-corruption fight. “We used to say our problem in our work against corruption is the judiciary but we see a lack of political will by the president,” one EFCC official said.

Does it affect their job of prosecution?
Not directly, but it impacts the outcome of the said prosecution. Joshua Dariye, 64, and Jolly Nyame, 66, were convicted for mismanaging and stealing public funds while they were governors. But the convicted ex-governors received the pardon despite still serving their jail terms. Last Thursday, president Buhari pardoned them on the grounds of health and age.

An official lamented that the prosecutions of the two former governors lasted a decade and their eventual convictions were a high point of the anti-graft agencies’ work. Some non-governmental organisations including the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI) also condemned the pardon. They expressed worry over “the effect such ill-thought political pardon will have on the anti-corruption efforts”.

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