In an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan by Fitch and Associates in The Hague, The Netherlands, on behalf of Transparency International, the body stated that the scope and speed of corruption in Nigeria this year is beyond anything it has ever dealt with.
Below is the full statement:
Dear President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,
We are lawyers representing Transparency International, a global civil society group leading the fight against corruption. Your Excellency, if you look at the website of our client, she defines herself extensively as: “Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, brings people together in a powerful worldwide coalition to end the devastating impact of corruption on men, women and children around the world. TI’s mission is to create change towards a world free of corruption. Transparency International challenges the inevitability of corruption, and offers hope to its victims. Since its founding in 1993, TI has played a lead role in improving the lives of millions around the world by building momentum for the anti corruption movement.”
Your Excellency, perhaps, you already know that our client is famous in your part of the world for her annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI). It has become the world’s most famous corruption ranking fiesta. People and governments all over the world expect the annual CPI the way they expect the announcement of the Nobel Prizes. We are sure you know how it works Your Excellency: some 200 countries are ranked from the least corrupt to the most corrupt.
To gather corruption data every year on two hundred countries is arduous work. Our client’s thorough methodology is constantly reviewed and updated by the best experts in the world. This methodology revolves around a national integrity system assessment that is applied by a team of country specialists. Transparency International allots three specialists to each of the 200 countries under assessment. Six hundred specialists work round the clock to help our client draw up the CPI which is released on the last month of every year.
Transparency International has retained the services of our firm because they believe that Nigeria is about to jeopardise their work for the year 2012. Our client suspects sabotage, plotted and orchestrated by Nigeria’s political elite, in order to make it impossible for Transparency International to work effectively on the 2012 Corruption Perception Index. Our client would rather have a peaceful resolution of this matter as international litigation is always sensational, time wasting, and expensive.
The problem, Your Excellency, has to do with the rate and scale of scams and corruption probes coming out of Nigeria in 2012. The scope and speed of corruption in your country this year is beyond anything our client has ever dealt with. When the pension fund scam broke out, the three specialists working on Nigeria complained about overwork and threatened a lawsuit against Transparency International because they had to work 23 hours a day from Monday to Sunday just to cope with the figures coming out of that scam. Our client had to pull country specialists away from zero or low corruption countries such as New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, Norway, Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, and Canada. The specialists working on all these countries were transferred to the Nigeria desk.
While the reinforced Nigeria desk was coping with the pension fund scam, the fuel subsidy scam and the SEC scam also broke out in your country and the figures involved have been so vertiginous that Transparency International has had no choice but to transfer all six hundred country specialists working on two hundred countries to the Nigeria desk. With our client’s six hundred experts now struggling to cope with corruption data emanating from just one country, the integrity of the CPI process for 2012 has been compromised. TI has no staff to work on the remaining one hundred and ninety-nine countries.
An emergency board meeting was convened to review the situation and board members suggested that given the scale of these corruption scandals emanating from your country in just the first four months of 2012, there appears to be a conspiracy on the part of your country’s political class to overwhelm Transparency International and thereby make it impossible for her to work on and release the 2012 CPI, since it is not possible to release date on just one country to the rest of the world in December 2012.
Your Excellency, we are hoping that you would be willing to discuss a negotiated settlement. Transparency International is seeking compensation from Nigeria for the unprecedented disruption of her work occasioned by your gargantuan corruption scams this year – which has made it impossible to focus on any other country. If you are unwilling to negotiate, we have been instructed to institute legal action against your country, for conspiracy to derail the work of a credible international organisation by overwhelming her with corruption data and stretching her resources beyond tolerable human limits.
Fitch, Fitch, Fitch & Associates