Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nigerian ex-oil governor arrested

By Alex Last
BBC News, Lagos

James Ibori, former Delta State governor
Mr Ibori's assets are said to include a jet and London property
Nigeria's anti-corruption agency has arrested former Delta State Governor James Ibori, over allegations of corruption and money-laundering.

The head of the agency, Nuhu Ribadu, said Mr Ibori would be charged in the federal high court on Thursday.

Mr Ibori is also under investigation by the Metropolitan police in the UK.

The failure to prosecute Mr Ibori in Nigeria had raised doubts over the government's commitment to its anti-corruption campaign.

Mr Ibori is the most high-profile former governor to be arrested under the new administration.

Agents from Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Mr Ibori at a private residence in the capital, Abuja.

Bold statement

Mr Ibori is the former governor of Delta State, one of the largest oil-producing states in Nigeria and, therefore, one of the richest.

Nigeria's President-elect Umaru Yar'Adua
Umaru Yar'Adua has promised to continue the fight against corruption
He was seen as a key financier of President Umaru Yar'Adua's campaign for April's elections and is politically very powerful and well connected.

But he has been under investigation in the UK over allegations he laundered millions of dollars of looted state funds - charges he denies.

A UK court has frozen assets in the UK, allegedly belonging to Mr Ibori worth $35m.

His official salary while in office was less than $25,000 a year.

Mr Ibori, like other state governors, lost his immunity from prosecution when he had to leave office earlier this year.

But the key political issue has been whether anti-corruption agencies would be allowed to go after him in the way they have gone after other former governors.

The actions of Nigeria's new attorney general have been under particular scrutiny in this case.

Law enforcement agents in the UK and Nigeria have complained that he has been using his position to stall the prosecution of Mr Ibori - a charge he denies.

Still, it raised questions as to the scope of the new president's anti-graft policy.

This arrest is a bold statement from the anti-corruption agency at least that no-one is safe from prosecution.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Relevant Links for Tomorrow's Presentation on Corruption, Equity and Ethnicity

Those interested in reading up for tomorrow's presentation, should take a look at Transparency International's website. The site has great information on

1. defining corruption:


2. corruption and health:

Also, the Global Health Watch provides terrific information on the role global institutions, transnational corporations and rich countries have played in propagating corruption in the global South. Check out Part E of the report contents at:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bangladesh completes polio vaccination drive

News | Africa -
"Millions of children across Bangladesh were given their second vaccination against polio on Saturday, completing a drive to wipe out the disease, which re-emerged early last year, health ministry officials said [...]"

Women, Infants, and Children: But What About the Men?

Challenging Dogma - Fall 2007: Women, Infants, and Children: But What About the Men? –Read Holman:
"Despite its successes, the program has not gone without its critics. Many have criticized that the foods available to enrollees are not all appropriate(4), that it pushes infant formula feeding (5), that the program is inadequately funded (6,7), and for other reasons (8,9). However no records have been found that critique WIC in its effects on certain male populations from a social and behavioral science viewpoint."