Authorities in the United States of America (USA) have announced that they have apprehended a notorious Nigerian conman posing as Washington lobbyist, who, at the time of arrest had already cashed in purported fees of millions of US dollars via an unnamed South Sudanese government high level official.
Evidence including notes and letters of correspondence between this official and the suspect suggest that the scammer had promised to offer his ‘expertise’ to ensure that South Sudan’s name is cleared and put in better light by removing it from Africa’s Top 5 Most Corrupt List, as well as the World’s Most Fragile and Failed State.
In one such letter, the con-artist is said to have claimed the current rankings of Nigeria and Kenya in the same indexes are a result of his ‘tireless’ lobbying. He went on to claim that South Sudan could ‘disappear’ from the Top 5 list, just like Nigeria and Kenya where corruption is still rampant by finding its way into the culture and norm in those countries.
With a high level government delegation consisting of seven national ministers, it is believed that the con-man might have been contacted to offer his ‘services’ that the government in the World’s Newest Nation appears to desperately need. Many believe that the arrest and the presence in Washington of the government delegation is too much of a coincidence to neglect.
The government delegation is in the USA to lobby against the impending threat of international financial sanctions on officials in South Sudan. Although the name of the South Sudanese has not been disclosed, speculation is rife and it is hoped that it’s not someone acting under the directives of the high-level delegation.
South Sudan recently bumped Somalia off the top spot to claim the title of World’s Most Fragile State. Somalia still holds the title for the Most Corrupt African State, or less punchy Corruption Perception Index which has Sudan in third place, but coming up in the fast lane is South Sudan – only three years old- in fifth place.
It is not clear if Juba approved and authorized this unorthodox ‘under -the-table’ strategy. With this revelation, if true, not only would a scammer have been scammed but it may just be the help that is needed to boost the country’s chances of beating Sudan to claim the Most Corrupt African State title from Somalia next time around.