Farida Waziri, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Saturday slammed her predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu, for saying that she was one of those Nigerians who frustrated the fight against corruption in the country.
Mr Ribadu had in a keynote speech at the 2016 Annual Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama on Thursday in Abuja, stated that Mrs Waziri “inflicted serious damages on the EFCC from which the Commission is still struggling to recover.”
Speaking under the theme “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents”, Mr. Ribadu also named foremost lawyer, Ben Nwabueze, and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, among the people who undermined the country’s efforts to fight against the cancer of corruption.
However, in her reaction, through her personal assistant, Omolara Oluremi, Mrs Waziri warned Mr. Ribadu against using her name any time he needs public attention or sympathy.
The statement read:
“My attention has been drawn to a reckless and irresponsible statement credited to Nuhu Ribadu at a function on Wednesday (sic) in Abuja, where he, as has been his rhetoric since 2008 when I succeeded him as the EFCC chairman, attempted to malign me by accusing me of being part of his imaginary enemies who frustrated the nation’s anti-graft war.”
“My first inclination was to ignore Nuhu Ribadu since I know he is always obsessed with dropping my name into his script any time he needs public pity or political relevance. But, on a second thought I felt I should advise him to leave me out of his frustrations and face life.
“There should be a life after EFCC. If after eight years of being removed as EFCC chairman, he is yet to move on with life, even after two successive chairmen had occupied the same seat and moved on with their lives, then his problem may be psychogenic. He needs help elsewhere, certainly not from me.
“If Nuhu is yet to face the reality that EFCC is a Federal Government agency and not a personal estate of anybody, eight years after, I find it compelling to remind him, otherwise one day he would wake up to blame me for his defeat in the 2011 presidential election and even his pathetic outing in the 2015 governorship election in Adamawa State despite the slush funds deployed to ensure his victory at the polls.
“I equally suspect that Nuhu may, sooner than later, blame me for his penchant to jump from one party to another party like a political prostitute; from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to PDP and now to All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is his lust for power, inordinate ambition and desperation for political relevance that continue to push him to dine and wine, and even enjoy the wealth of those he had labelled as corrupt in yesteryears. He can’t hold me responsible for his double face, lack of principle and complex contradictions in his character.
“There is also the need to remind Nuhu Ribadu that before he succumbs to another logorrhoea, he should avail himself a copy of the investigative report on recovered asset during his tenure as EFCC chairman and use the opportunity of the next naming ceremony or birthday party he is invited to, to explain to Nigerians what happened to billions of funds and asset recovered from suspects under him, with no records or documentation.
“He should be grateful to me that I cleaned his mess by creating an Asset Forfeiture Unit to put the records straight and do things rightly.
“No matter how hard Nuhu tries to obliterate my tenure with his numerous lies, the record of over 450 convictions secured during my three and a half-year sojourn in EFCC remains indelible.
“Though I inherited about 10 high profile cases from him in 2008, we took over 75 of such high profile cases to courts, with another 1,500 low profile cases pending in courts as at my exit in November 2011.
“We initiated and commenced work on the permanent office complex of the EFCC sitting on a 5.5 hectares of land along Airport Road, Abuja, in addition to setting up offices in Maiduguri, Borno State and Ibadan, Oyo State to expand the Commission’s scope of operations. I can go on and on, on my achievements.
“I have decided to mention just a few for now to discourage Nuhu from claiming the credit for them when next he wants to make himself happy or seek political relevance.
“At this juncture, let me advise Nuhu Ribadu to stop being a weeping man. Garrulity does not heal frustration or depression. He may consider vying for a local government chairmanship or councillorship position to get b’ so that he can stop spewing falsehood, fables and lies to seek public sympathy and political relevance.”