* Two EFCC staff demanded $640 from local official
* Corruption siphons billions of dollars in Nigeria
LAGOS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Two officers at the body which
investigates corruption in Nigeria have themselves been jailed
for five years for demanding a $640 bribe from a local
government official, the watchdog said on Friday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the
two had been found guilty of "conspiracy and obtaining money
under false pretence" for demanding the bribe from the chairman
of Bama local council in northeast Nigeria to terminate a case
against him in 2010.
It added that they were not investigators, so did not even
have the authority to do that.
"They were alleged to have asked Mr. Kachalla to send them
the money in order to bribe other investigators of the
Commission to destroy a petition written to the EFCC, which
indicted him for alleged mismanagement of public funds," the
EFCC said on its website.
Since its inception in 2003 under former President Olusegun
Obasanjo, the EFCC has convicted dozens of people for crimes
ranging from smuggling to embezzlement, recovering millions of
dollars in one of the world's most corrupt countries.
Yet critics say it has only successfully convicted
relatively 'little' people, leaving the wealthy and powerful
elites gorging on grand corruption largely untouched.
The watchdog is conducting an investigation into a
multi-billion-dollar fraud in the administration of fuel
subsidies, for which around nine fuel marketers have been named
as suspects, with dozens more being investigated.
Decades of military rule and large incomes from oil reserves
have bred a culture of corruption that has enriched Nigeria's
political elite but left the majority of its 168 mi llion pe ople
($1 = 156.5500 naira)
(Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)