finding God

In kleptocratic, corruption-capital Nigeria, oil state governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha is suspected of siphoning millions of dollars in cash and buying an oil refinery in Ecuador along with several houses in London, California and South Africa.

Mr. Alamieyeseigha (pronounced al-uh-mess-EE-ya) was arrested in London on Sept. 15 and charged by British authorities with three counts of money laundering. He was released on bail but was forced to surrender his passport.

His next court date was scheduled for Dec. 8, but on Nov. 20 he mysteriously materialized in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa state, telling a crowd of supporters who assembled outside the governor’s mansion here on Nov. 22: “I cannot tell you how I was brought here. It is a mystery. All the glory goes to God.”

Asked for further clarification, his spokesman, a former environmental activist and human rights lawyer named Oronto Douglas, repeated the governor’s assertion.

“He told me God brought him home,” Mr. Douglas said, sounding a little dazed. Asked if he believed the governor’s story, Mr. Douglas said, “As a Christian I believe in miracles.”

God manifested Himself when Mr. Alamieyeseigha fled money-laundering charges in Britain by donning a dress and a wig to match forged travel documents.

From Polgreen, Lydia. 2005. “As Nigeria tries to fight graft, a new sordid tale.” New York Times, November 29.

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