Reacting to reports that recent releases from WikiLeaks showed an alleged pending case of money laundering against Patience Jonathan, the wife of the President of Nigeria, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Farida Waziri, said that there is no record of any investigation by the EFCC into the actions of Goodluck Jonathan or Mrs Jonathan while President Jonathan was governor of Bayelsa State.
Speaking to representatives of Women Empowering and Enriching Lives (WEEL), an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), who were on a courtesy visit to the EFCC headquarters, Mrs Waziri said, â€śLet me state clearly that the commission will not allow itself to be used to drag innocent peopleâ€™s names into crimes, cases or allegations they know nothing about. In this particular case, I have read my predecessor say, in media interviews in September 2010, that Mrs. Jonathan was not in any way involved in any case of money laundering investigated by the EFCC under him.
"I have checked our records and cannot find any case of money laundering against Mrs Jonathan or the president himself. So, each time I get an enquiry or read about this, I wonder where this is coming from."
The commission does not have, in any account or records, where $13.5 million was recovered from Mrs. Jonathan in 2006 and will not allow the commission's name to be used to drag innocent people's names into crimes, cases or allegations they know nothing about. I think that is criminal and a big sin.. We should learn to separate the truth from blackmail. Our society can only thrive on justice and fair play, if we uphold the right values and shun the politics of pulling innocent people down.â€ť
â€śI think that a good name is better than silver and gold. People work hard to build their names and images and then to overnight come and cast this damage or scandal to hunt someone, I think is a great sin and I donâ€™t allow it. I know I have been a victim of such and I know what it means and what it takes."
"Each time the commission receives a petition, we look for the writer to come and adopt it and if it is unanimous, we don't throw it inside the dustbin. We carry out covert enquiries to see whether there is substance in it. But we do not, for sake of politics or sensationalism, drop people's names,"
She also spoke of her own experiences with misleading reports, saying that when she accepted her appointment, the late President Yar'Adua told her that her name will be rubbished and scandalised. She said, "He told me that my name will be rubbished, I will be scandalised, people will write all sort of rubbish against me, tissues of lies will be conjured against me. He asked if I realised that and I said yes, I have been through it before and I know,"
She also pointed out the incident where the $15 million bribe offered to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu by Chief James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State, was kept intact at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She said, â€śThis is why in the EFCC today, only the mischievous will say the EFCC under my leadership witch-hunts, or drags peopleâ€™s names in the mud or violates rule of law in our operations. I am proud to say that in the last three years, we have done much more and achieved great feats without operating outside the ambit of the law.
"For us in EFCC, we will continue to promote the right values, focus on our mandate and abstain from tendencies that will not help the cause of a better society. This we cannot do alone, and that is why we continue to enlist as many patriotic citizens and groups like yours to join in our crusade for good governance through a vigorous and masses-driven fight against economic crimes including corruption."
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
"Coming In From The Cold" In California, U.S.A. September 14, 2011
Yeah, yeah, Mrs EFCC or Waziri, we hear you; but this is not about you. What is the connection between these stories about you; Yaradua telling you that you will be rubbished, $15 billion offered to Ribadu, blah, blah, blah, and that of Mrs President Jonathan?
Just address the issue at hand and conduct your investigations rather than giving us side stories meant to distract us from the real issue. We know there is no smoke without fire.
We should not go to Sokoto to look for something in the pocket of our "sokoto" (sokoto means trouser in Yoruba). These days, when Wikileaks talks, people listen and raise their eyebrows too.
As far as I am concerned and judging from our history and records, in Nigeria, you are guilty until proven innocent. Show me a Nigerian in government who is innocent, and I'll show you what he has stolen. Everybody is a thief but only the one caught is "barawo" or "ole"
I have no hope in or for Nigeria, period. At least not in my life time. I have been seeing this rubbish or nonsense since I was a kid and that's too long as I am getting closer to my grave now.
No one is expecting perfection in any human system. But if you have more troubles than anything else, you are doomed. Let anyone tell me what works in Nigeria - NOTHING.
People pray and ask God to save Nigeria; I do so too. But in my heart of heart, I know that's not the way God works. We use such prayers to console ourselves but we know the solution is in our hands, not God's hand.
There is a Yoruba proverb that says literally that, "the praying mantis has finished giving birth to its child; now it's the child's fault if he doesn't know how to dance".
God has done His own part; let's do our part too. Send those crazy suckers out of town, one way or another.
Tosin Warri, Nigeria September 12, 2011
The EFCC is right.Even Mr Ribadu denied any investigation of Dame Patience. I hope all Ribadu deciples will note this. If Ribadu made sure that there is no record of 'Dame Patience investigation,' the woman is innocent.Let us please leave tis "CLEAN FIRST FAMILY" alone. GEJ baba!.
OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA September 09, 2011
EFCC has improved on rule of law. But the commission has been changing colours like chameleon when on corruption issues involving the presidency and friends / supporters of Aso Rock since inception. God save Nigeria.