A row over “secret recruitment” – about well-placed families allegedly pushing their children into government jobs – has broken out in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
One newspaper described it as “illegal, immoral and selective” and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to include the scandal in his war on corruption.
Among the claims is that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has given jobs to more than 300 “privileged Nigerians”.
The appointments allegedly include Buhari’s nephew, two sons of ministers and the daughter of a police chief.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has also admitted appointing staff without advertising the jobs, calling it a “targeted recruitment” of specialists.
Nigerian human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong said Buhari “has not deemed it pertinent to publicly respond” to the scandal.
The president returned this week from treatment in London for an ear infection just as the local currency fell by 30%. The central bank let go its efforts to peg the naira, which was already trading on the street at nearly double the official rate of 199 to the dollar.
Devaluation and falling oil output is expected to push inflation above the current 14%.
Writing online, Effiong asked whether Buhari was “oblivious of the scandalous recruitments that are going on under his watch”.
Since taking office a year ago, Buhari has repeatedly promised to reform his country’s reputation as one of the most corrupt in Africa.
Critics say he has done little to stem graft in his own party and accuse him of using the campaign to arrest members of the opposition.