In this article I will be sharing with you 16 most corrupt political leaders in Nigeria and their true crime story. As we all know Nigeria was named the country with the highest rate of poverty in the world by CNN. Nigeria as a giant of Africa is very rich as a country, but the masses are very poor.

The reason why Nigeria has the highest number of poor people is because the leaders are siphoning all the resources of Nigeria into their private bank accounts in oversea. So therefore, in this investigative report, I present to you 16 most corrupt political leaders in Nigeria and their true crime story.

1. Kashim Shettima

Kashim Shettima is currently the newly elected Vice President of Nigeria. He was the former governor of Borno state. He is a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC). This former governor and current Vice President of Nigeria have stolen over $80 million from Nigerian treasury during his administration as Governor of Borno state, thereby making the state one of the most poorest state in Nigeria. Some people even accuse him of sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgents.

2. Sani Abacha

General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian military general and dictator who served as the military head of state in Nigeria from 1993 until his untimely death in 1998. He was also the Chief of Army Staff between 1985 to 1990. He was also the Chief of Defense Staff and Minister of Defense between 1990 to 1993. He stole over $7 billion from Nigerian treasury during his administration as Nigeria Military Head of State from 1993 to1998.

3. Rabui Kwankwaso

Rabui Kwankwaso is a Nigerian politician who was the Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003 and 2011 to 2015. After he lost his re-election in 2003, he was appointed the first Minister of Defence of the Fourth Republic with no prior military background from 2003 to 2007. He stole over $100 million during his tenure as governor of Kano State. EFCC has arrested many of his aides.

4. Oluesgun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo was is a former Nigerian military head of state and political leader who served as military head of state in Nigeria from 1976 to 1979 and later as a democratic elected President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. He was the first democratically elected president in Nigeria and also a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He stole over $25 billion from 1999-2007 from Nigerian treasury. He also stole about $16.4 billion from power sector alone.

5. Ahmed Tinubu

Ahmed Tinubu is a Nigerian politician and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is currently the newly elected President of Nigeria. He had previously served as the Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007. During his tenure as Governor of Lagos state, he stole and continues to steal from Lagos State treasury since 1999 till date. It is estimated that he has stolen over $6 billion so far and call himself the Jagaban of Lagos.

6. Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari was the former President of Nigeria. He served as Nigerian Military Head of State from 1983 to 1985 and later as a democratically elected president from 2015 to 2023. Buhari claimed that he came to fight corruption but unfortunately he assisted in corruption. During his tenure Nigeria had so much borrowing from international community that he couldn’t account what the money was used for. He stole over $200 million during his tenure as President of Nigeria.

7. Abdulsalam Abubakar

General Abdulsalam Abubakar is a Nigerian statesman and military general who served as the President of Nigeria from 1998 to 1999. He was also Chief of Defense Staff between 1993 and 1998. He succeeded General Sani Abacha upon his death. During his tenure as Nigerian Military Head of State, he stole over $9 billion from 1998 to1999 from Nigerian treasury.

8. Ibrahim Babangida

General Ibrahim Babangida popularly known as IBB is a Nigerian army general and statesman who served as military head of state in Nigeria from 1985 until his resignation in 1993. He also served as the Chief of Army Staff from January 1984 to August 1985. During his tenure as Nigerian Military Head State, he stole over $15 billion from 1985 to1993 and also stole $12.4 billion from oil wind fall in 1990.

9. Nasir El Rufai

Nasir El Rufai is a Nigerian politician who served as the Governor of Kaduna State. Before he was made the FCT Minister by Obasanjo, Nasir El Rufai was broke, homeless and was looking for loan to import taxis from the UK. After he was made a federal minister by Obasanjo, he seized landed properties that belonged to Nigerians and resold them with huge profit. It is estimated that he stole over $1 billion from 2003 to 2007.

10. Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar is a Nigerian politician and businessman who served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo. Since the return to democracy, Abubakar has contested in all the elections but lost. Atiku Abubakar is an astute businessman, but he assisted in corruption during Obasanjo regime through shady deals, he stole over $500 million from 1999 to 2007.

11. Bukola Saraki

Bukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th Senate President of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019 and Chairman of the 8th Nigeria National Assembly. He also served as the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. During his tenure as Governor of Kwara state, he stole over $1.1 billion from Nigerian treasury to fund their family bank known as Societe Generale.

12. Sule Lamido

Sule Lamido is a Nigerian politician who served as Foreign Affairs Minister of Nigeria during Obasanjo regime from 1999 to 2003. He was elected governor of Jigawa State in April 2007. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). During his tenure as Governor of Jigawa state, he stole over $110 million between 2007 to 2015 and out of that amount, $50 million was found in his sons’ bank accounts. He was arrested and detained for days together with his sons by the EFCC.

13. Babatunde Fashola

Babatunde Fashola is a Nigerian lawyer and politician who served as Governor of Lagos state and Nigerian Federal Minister of Works and Housing. He served two terms as Governor of Lagos State from 29th May 2007 to 29th May 2015. He was the errand boy of Ahmed Tinubu. Both of them looted Lagos dry and left it in so many debts. During his tenure as Governor of Lagos state, he stole over $900 million from 2007 to 2015.

14. Amina Mohammed

This woman was the founder of Afri-Project Consortium that was in charge of all PTF Projects during General Abacha regime. About $125 million was stolen from PTF accounts from 1994 to 1998. After her controversial allegation of stealing over $125 million from Nigeria treasury from 1994 to 1998, Buhari appointed her as a federal minister during his administration as President to continue to stealing from Nigerian treasury.

15. TY Danjuma

General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma popularly known as TY Danjuma was a Nigerian army general and politician who has played a key role in the history of Nigeria. TY Danjuma amassed an enormous fortune through shipping and petroleum. He was Chief of Army Staff from July 1975 to October 1979. He fraudulently got enriched through oil blocks from the Niger Delta worth over $20 million in the early 70s after the military counter coup. But today, those oil blocks worth over $1 billion dollars in value.

16. Sanusi Lamido

Sanusi Lamido is a member of the Dabo royal family of Kano. He was the 14th Emir of Kano, ascending the throne on 8th June 2014, following the death of his grand uncle Ado Bayero. He was dethroned on 9th March 2020 by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje. He was the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He stole over $1.2 billion from Nigerian Treasury as CBN Governor from 2008 to 2014.

Austine Ikeru
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