The United States of America, in a recent report, has accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of stifling the freedom of the press and engaging in widespread corruption in 2020.
The report, authored by the Department of State and titled ‘2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,’ the US expressed concerns about corruption in Nigeria, stating that it was widespread and pervasive at all levels of government, including the judiciary and security services.
According to the report, there were numerous allegations of government corruption in year 2020, citing the arrest and investigation of the former acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, for graft.
The report further observed that many corruption cases, particularly the high-profile ones, remained pending before the court due to administrative or procedural delays.
“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. Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government, including the judiciary and security services. There were numerous allegations of government corruption during the year”, it said.
On press freedom, the report accused government of stifling press freedom, alledging that the political leaders instructed security forces to harass journalists covering sensitive topics such as human rights abuses, electoral malpractices, high-level public corruption, and the war against terrorism.
“Security services detained and harassed journalists, sometimes for reporting sensitive problems such as political corruption and security. Security services including the DSS (Department of State Services) and police occasionally arrested and detained journalists who criticised the government”, the report said.