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Farida Waziri, former EFCC chairman, was not the right person to succeed Ribadu - Obasanjo
| September 11, 2013
In an interview with Zero Tolerance, a magazine of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, spoke about the performance of Mrs. Farida Waziri, who replaced Nuhu Ribadu as the Chairman of the EFCC. The EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission were established by Obasanjo. Mrs Waziri, a retired senior police officer, was appointed head of the EFCC in 2008 after Nuhu Ribadu was forcibly removed from office. In the interview, President Obasanjo said, "I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu was not the right person for that job because I understood that one of those who head-hunted her was James Ibori. If Ibori, who is now in a UK prison for fraud, head-hunts somebody who will fight corruption in Nigeria, then you can understand what happened." "Go and look at the condition or the qualification; go and look at the type of interaction that anybody holding that job should have with a similar organisation elsewhere; did Waziri have that type. What connection did she have with the FBI, what relationship did she have with Metropolitan Police in London. It's not a picnic." "When I was there, the EFCC and ICPC worked tirelessly and we moved this country on the corruption perception index from being the lowest at number two to number 45. We should have graduated from being number 45 to being number 50 to being number 60, to being number 100. But we are not doing that, rather we have started sliding down." Obasanjo also criticized the way Ribadu was removed from office and said he advised the late President Umaru Yar'Adua against removing Ribadu from the role. He also said, "I will reappoint Mallam Ribadu and I will not dismiss him the way he was dismissed from the EFCC." However, he criticised Ribadu for now working with people he had once declared as corrupt." Responding to ex-president Obasanjo's comments, Mrs Waziri denied that James Ibori supported her appointment as the EFCC chairman. She said, "I never knew him. I never knew James Ibori. went to the Villa very often because the president called his staff and told them Farida has free access to him 24/7, whether in the office or Villa. So, I went there often and I met Ibori. He was always there. I think what happened was that my younger brother, Aondoaka, the former Attorney-General, was close to Ibori." "Let me ask you, if I was in league with Ibori and was not sincerely pursuing him, would he have run, gone out of this country to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates?" 'It is all lies of the enemies. By the time I write my book, the truth will prevail. I never knew Ibori; look I believe what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I don't believe in half measures. By my training and upbringing, I can never betray my country for anyone." She also said she was responsible for the first conviction in the history of the EFCC saying, "N190bn, one single recovery from one person that went to jail was during Farida Waziri. That is why it is good to have changes in an organization"

(1) Comment


"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."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    October 11, 2013
We can pity Mr. Obasanjo for his recollections. He may be affected by his old age. How can a man who replanted and watered corruption in Nigeria come out to criticise? When the former governor of Plateau State was being prosecuted over Ecological Funds, the man claimed that he gave N100 million to 2003 Obasanjo/ Atiku election campaign ticket.

News had it that the duo later paid back the sum to the State. When the late Mr. Afolabi, former Internal Affairs Minister was being prosecuted too, he pointed in the direction of Mr. Obasanjo. He later died from strange ailment overseas. The list is endless. One cannot but ask Mr. Obasanjo which type of corruption he fought.

As for Ribadu, he was just a noise maker in office. My comments and articles on his performance while in office are there as references. When El-Rufai paid youth corpers million in salaries and allowances, Ribadu looked the other way. The list is also endless.
Nevertheless, I thank Mr. Obasanjo for pointing out the flaw in Mrs. Waziri's qualification for the job. Perhaps in future, Nigeria has to employ a staff from FBI or Metropolitan Police so that the connections desired by Mr. Obasanjo would be established and the magic of corruption war would be revealed. Humm!
God save Nigeria.
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