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Nigeria pardons ex-governor who stole millions

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LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigeria has pardoned the former political benefactor of the nation’s president, a presidential adviser said Wednesday, a politician convicted of stealing millions of dollars while serving as a state governor.

The decision from a closed-door meeting Tuesday of the Council of State to pardon former Bayelsa state governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha drew immediate outrage across Nigeria, an oil-rich nation long considered to have one of the world’s most corrupt governments.

While the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan repeatedly says it is fighting the entrenched system of graft that strangles Nigeria, the leader has shared stages before with convicted politicians. Meanwhile, the country’s largely opaque budgets and loose regulatory controls continue to allow for hundreds of millions of dollars more to be stolen annually.

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