Former EFCC boss Ribadu to speak on Panama Papers

A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, will on Thursday be part of a panel to discuss the Panama Papers leak as they affect Africa.

The forum is organised by the European Parliament Inquiry Committee, PANA, following revelations published by a consortium of international media, including PREMIUM TIMES, showing secretive offshore companies used by powerful individuals and criminals to hide wealth, evade taxes and commit fraud.

The event will hold in Strasbourg France on Thursday, April 6.

The committee, which had been working since July last year had held a series of public hearings with the journalists who revealed the Panama Papers, representatives of international organisations, academics, the business society.

The Members of the Committee have now decided to hold a hearing on “The impact of the schemes revealed in the Panama Papers on developing countries”.

Information from the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, reveals that members of the PANA Committee will use the meeting to get a better understanding of the impact of money-laundering and tax evasion on developing countries.

“The Members of the Committee will hear about the experience and findings of relevant stakeholders (journalist and experts in taxation and money-laundering) in this area, with a focus on the level of cooperation between EU and African authorities, the difficulties faced by them and the deficiencies observed in the existing legal framework in this field (including, if appropriate evidence of no respect of EU law),” one of the released information said.

Mr. Ribadu will be part of a panel that will discuss Panama Papers and Africa alongside Carlos Lopez, a former UN representative, as well as Alvin Mosloma, the founding executive director of Tax Justice Network Africa.

Others are Jean Ziegler, an author from Switzerland, Will Fitzgibbon, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, reporter focusing on the Panama Papers impact in Africa and De Pasquale, an Italian prosecutor.


Source: Premium Times

Farida Waziri Lashes Ribadu Again

 Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri, says the pioneer Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, also benefitted from the stolen funds deployed by the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2015 general elections.

The EFCC had arrested PDP chieftains across the country for allegedly receiving part of the N23bn disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Although Waziri made no reference to Diezani, she said in a statement by her Personal Assistant, Mrs. Omolara Oluremi, that Ribadu, who was the governorship candidate of the PDP in Adamawa State, received part of the slush funds distributed by the party.
Waziri’s scathing remarks against her predecessor were said to be in reaction to Ribadu’s claim that Waziri had a hand in his removal from the EFCC and frustrated the anti-graft war.
She said, “If Nuhu is yet to face the reality that the 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.”
Waziri also alleged that under Ribadu’s leadership between 2003 and 2007, billions of recovered funds went missing because of his failure to inaugurate an asset recovery unit.
She added, “There is also the need to remind Nuhu that before he succumbs to another logorrhea, he should avail himself a copy of the investigative report on recovered assets during his tenure as EFCC chairman and use the opportunity of the next ceremony or birthday party he is invited to, to explain to Nigerians what happened to billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under him, with no records or documentation.
“He should be grateful to me that I cleaned his mess by creating an Assets Forfeiture Unit to put the records straight and do things rightly.”
Waziri, who described Ribadu as a political prostitute for jumping from one party to the other, argued that no blackmail could tarnish her image or erase her performance at the EFCC.
She said, “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 the EFCC remains indelible.

Waziri Responds To Ribadu’s Accusation Of Frustrating Corruption Fight

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has challenged her predecessor in the commission Malam Nuhu Ribadu to give account of billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under his watch as EFCC boss and stop using her name for cheap political cards.

A statement signed by her Personal Assistant, Ms Omolara Oluremi on Saturday quotes Mrs Waziri as saying Ribadu had accused her of being ‘’part of his imaginary enemies who frustrated the nation’s anti-graft war’’.

‘’My first inclination was to ignore Nuhu since I know he is always obsessed with dropping my name into his script anytime 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.

‘’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’’ she alleged.

According to her ‘’it was Ribadu’s 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 labeled as corrupt in yesteryears’’.

She advised Ribadu to ‘’stop being a weeping man’’, saying garrulity does not heal frustration or depression.


Ribadu Reveals Names Of Nigerians Who ‘Frustrated’ Fight Against Corruption

Years after leaving office as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu has named some Nigerians he said tried their best to frustrate the nation’s fight against corruption.

Mr. Ribadu spoke on Thursday when he presented the lead paper at the 2016 Annual Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama in Abuja.

Speaking under the theme “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents”, Mr. Ribadu named foremost lawyer, Ben Nwabueze, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, and his successor at the EFCC, Farida Waziri, as people who undermined the country’s efforts to fight against the cancer of corruption.

“I still recall with amazement and shock how some very senior lawyers made it a duty upon themselves to bring down the EFCC and stop the work we were doing. Many of them, like Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, teamed up with politicians to wage a very serious propaganda to discredit the work we were doing,” he said.

He also said Mr. Nwabueze personally went to court on many occasions to challenge the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption.

“One thing that also did a serious damage to the war against corruption was the active connivance of some senior lawyers who represented the governors we charged to courts after the 2007 election,” he said.

“It is on record that we charged the former governors of Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Abia and Edo states as the first set of ex-governors to face prosecution. However, almost 10 years after most of the cases have not gone anywhere because of deliberate action by lawyers to frustrate the trials,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu, a lawyer and former police officer, also said he was shocked that some lawyers who found themselves in government also worked against the fight against corruption.

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Court cleared me of corruption charges cooked up by OBJ, El-Rufai, Ribadu – Atiku

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has given himself a clean slate from corruption tag, saying that court has cleared him of the corruption allegations “cooked up” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and gazetted by a government white paper during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.


Atiku stated this in the interview granted to the editorial team of the EFCC, which was published in the latest edition of their in-house Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”.


He noted that he is one of the strongest advocate of the anti-corruption war, having pioneered the establishment of the major anti-graft agencies including the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).


He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.


“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court. The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”


The Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on his relationship with the then Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, saying he has rested their differences.


He said that Ribadu apologised to him on several occasions and that he has forgiven him despite the fact that he refused to do so publicly as he demanded.


“I can recall when he (Ribadu) came to ask for my forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now realised that I am not corrupt. Then he said sir, ‘you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly, without them going to TV stations to apoligise to you. Why is my own case different?’ I said, ‘your case is different because first of all I helped to found the EFCC; I made sure that even when you had no budget, I took money from the privatisation council and gave you as a loan so that you can function before the National Assembly approved your budget. I was instrumental to your appointment, so I believe I had contributed to your development and that is what you are paying me back with’.

“In any case, he kept apologising and I said ‘okay’, no problem’. That closed the chapter”.


Atiku however, insisted that it was Ribadu and the then Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, that Obasanjo “used in cooking up the indictment that was eventually thrown out.”


“So where is the evidence of corruption? Its not just fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years. So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to it was unethical of me to have accepted those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?,” he queried.


Atiku debunked the allegations made by El-Rufai in his book: “Accidental Public Servant”, that he spearheaded the N50 million bribe scandal involving Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonathan Zwingina and others during his ministerial confirmation screening.


He said that the former DG of BPE might have “misconstrued what happened”, saying “He actually ran to me to say that he was denied confirmation by the Senate”.


“Of course, I called Mantu and others and confronted them, and they admitted that yes they denied him because they do not see him as a Minister. It is also on record, because I controlled the campaign funds; and el-Rufai now went and said those campaign funds were meant to be a bribe. This is how he came about concocting that story. Of course, my boss, the President (Obasanjo), investigated the story and found out that indeed every Senator got contributions from the campaign fund which I was managing.


“So where is the corruption in that? Had he discovered that there was corruption, he would have used it against me because he was looking for anything to nail me. But he couldn’t get it because I brought him evidence of all those that benefited from the fund”, he explained.

How EFCC Almost Arrested Aisha Buhari’s Impostor– Ribadu

The Aisha Buhari mentioned in the bribery scandal of a former United States congressman, William Jefferson, was an impostor who was peddling influence with the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former chairman of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, has said.

Mr. Ribadu narrated how the EFCC during his tenure, in conjunction with U.S. authorities, almost arrested the impostor.

“She is a different person and has lived in the U.S. for years. She is hardly in Nigeria. The EFCC was working with U.S. authorities on the investigations. One of my plans was to arrest her before I left the commission. Our suspicion then was that she was using the Buhari name for influence.

“The EFCC laid ambush to see if she would come into the country so she could be arrested. I didn’t know what happened to the plan to arrest her after I left,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu however said if Nigerian authorities were still interested in the case it was easy to establish her real identity.

He said this should not be a problem for investigators because she recently renewed her passport at the Nigeria embassy in Washington and that they should still have a file on her.

Mr. Ribadu’s successor at the EFCC , Ibrahim Lamorde, had earlier told this newspaper the President Buhari’s wife was not the person mentioned in the scandal as alleged by the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.

Mr. Fayose had distributed a link to the U.S. Department of Justice Web site holding court documents where a certain Aisha Buhari was alleged to have transferred suspicious funds to a convicted former American congressman, Williams Jefferson.

 In a statement signed by his chief press secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Mr. Fayose said President Buhari was far from being a clean man.

“Even the President cannot claim to be an angel,” the governor said, in reaction to the freezing of his Zenith Bank account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal. When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read.”

But Mr. Lamorde said that the Aisha Buhari in the Jefferson bribery scandal was not the President’s wife.

“I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari’s wife. It is another Aisha Buhari entirely,” Mr. Lamorde said.

“I was the director of operations at the EFCC at the time so I know about the case very well. I can tell you that it is not her (President Buhari’s wife). That much we established.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Ribadu Releases Statement On Dasuki Money Scandal

former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, has denied receiving any money from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Ribadu said those trying to discreetly plant a story against him in the media should come forward with documentary evidence to suggest that he collected money from Mr. Dasuki or had made some refunds to government.

“My attention has been drawn to insinuations in certain quarters of my purported repayment of some monies I was allegedly given by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd),” Mr. Ribadu said.

“For the record, let me categorically state that I had nothing to do with the former NSA while he was in office. I cannot remember meeting him at anytime while he held sway.

“It is therefore shocking for me to be accused of receiving something from someone I never had any relationship with, not to talk of refunding money he gave me.”

Mr. Dasuki is currently facing prosecution for his alleged involvement in a $2.1billion arms fraud when he was the NSA.

Mr. Ribadu said he did not receive any money from the former NSA either directly or through a proxy.

“There is therefore no reason for me to make any refund,” he said.

“Also, I have not been contacted by any security agency on this matter to warrant any action of that nature on my part.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Ribadu Visits Akande, May Defect To APC

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, on Sunday held a private meeting with a former Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande.

Ribadu, who contested the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, visited Akande at his residence in Ila-Orangun on Sunday evening and discussed with him for a few hours.

The visit had sparked rumour of the possibility of the defection of the former anti-graft boss to the ruling APC.

A highly-placed source in the APC in Osun State told our correspondent on Sunday that Ribadu visited Akande in company with the National Secretary of the APC, Mai Bala Buni.

The source, who preferred not to be mentioned because he was not authorised to speak for the party, said, “He was there on Sunday. I was told he (Ribadu) and the national secretary of the APC visited Chief Akande together.

“It is difficult to say if he is defecting to our party because I was not there but we won’t ask him not to come if he wants to come.”

The Director of Publicity and Strategy of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, when contacted, said he heard that Ribadu visited Akande.

Odeyemi, however, berated the former anti-corruption agency boss for allegedly “going back and forth.”

He said, “I was told he visited Ila-Orangun but is Ila his local government, where he is supposed to announce his defection?

“Ribadu has never proved to be a loyal party man. He joined the PDP from the ACN and he is going back now. He is not somebody to be depended upon when it comes to politics.”

Ribadu was a governorship candidate of the PDP in Adamawa State in the April 11, 2015 election.

After the meeting, Ribadu said he was at Ila-Orangun to reconnect with Akande, who he described as a father and statesman.

“Baba Akande is a very important person to all of us. He is a father in the true sense of the word. From the day I decided to venture into politics, I have benefited from his guidance and wisdom.

“I have not seen Baba in a long time, so I feel this is a good time to come and greet him at home. Of course, I have never been far away from Baba’s fountain of wisdom. Party differences cannot be a reason to abandon old ties,” Ribadu said.

He eulogised Akande, a former Osun State governor, and the people of the community while recalling the overwhelming support and affection he was shown by the people of Osun State during his 2011 presidential bid.

Akande said Ribadu’s visit was not political.

“As an extended member of this community, I said he should come and greet you,” he said.

How Ribadu Was Poisoned – Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the ex-chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was once poisoned in the course of his duties as anti-corruption czar.malam_nuhu_ribadu_11
Obasanjo disclosed this at an international forum on Third Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He also revealed that Ribadu created enemies for him because of the ruthlessness with which he carried out his responsibilities of tackling corruption in Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who spoke from the floor following a presentation on Illicit Financial Flow and Governance of Natural Resources made by Ribadu, affirmed that he had known from experience that
the fight against corruption attracts a lot of enemies.

The former president declared that he has no fear of anyone still living in Nigeria, adding, “it is rather them that fear me.”
Saying that Ribadu took on a lot of highly connected persons in his fight against corruption, Obasanjo said that the former anti-corruption chief was once poisoned, causing a scare among concerned quarters.

“It was a matter of life and death,” the former president said, though further details of the incident were not given.

Obasanjo said that once Ribadu was appointed, he gave him a free hand and that Ribadu investigated him, his late wife and several persons close to him at that time.

He also narrated a story of how a serving minister, who was his senior in secondary school, was indicted and prosecuted by the EFCC, adding that when the minister was found wanting, “there was no issue of seniority again.”

On leadership, Obasanjo, who is also the chairperson of the Tana Forum, re-echoed Ribadu’s submission that at the centre of anti-corruption fight there was the need for willing political leadership at the highest level.

He, however, added that the leader also needs relevant legislations to work with, narrating his experience with the bill establishing ICPC which, he said, was whittled down by lawmakers, who felt they could be victims of the law.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, thanked Ribadu for his presentation, which, he said, highlighted many good things about Nigeria different from what is portrayed in the media.

In his presentation, Ribadu offered measures African countries can take to tackle illicit financial flow and repatriate money already illegally taken out of the African countries.

He said that what Africa needs is honest and committed leaders who will set examples with themselves by eschewing corruption and close avenues of illicit financial flow.

According to him, it is the seriousness and commitment showed by the political leadership that will convince other foreign countries to work with them towards recovering looted monies stashed abroad.

Ribadu also emphasised the need for concerted effort among countries and a synergy between law enforcement agencies so that looters could be caught.

Ribadu Decries Yola Bomb Attack

The losing governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has expressed sadness at the death of 13 people after a bomb attack in Yola.

Several others were injured on Thursday following an explosion that ripped through the Jimeta main market in the capital of the state.

“I just got the heart-wrenching news of a terrible bomb blast near the popular Jimeta market in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State. I am in utter shock and state of devastation.  I find it quite saddening that for the first time since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency the murderous terrorists have succeeded in shattering the peace of Yola,” Ribadu said.

Ribadu said several attempts by terrorists to penetrate Yola in the past were foiled through efficient government-citizen mechanism of alertness.

He thus encouraged the people of the stated not be discouraged by the latest attack. “Though the terrorists have gotten away with their plan this time, we should not allow them to tear our spirit. Several of their attempts to penetrate Yola in the past were foiled through efficient government-citizen mechanism of alertness. It can still be done. The people must not be cowered,” he said.

Ribadu extended his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the attack and pray for the quick healing of those injured in the attack.

“Though I am presently far away from home, my thoughts and prayers are with the people at this trying time,” he said.

“Let me use this opportunity to extend my condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the attack. May the lost of the departed find repose in the nicest of places and may God almighty provide quick healing for the injured victims and recompense those who lost their means of livelihood,” Ribadu added.

Adamawa, alongside Borno and Yobe, are worst affected by attacks by the outlawed Boko Haram sect.

Credit: CAJ News

Fayose’s Alleged Fraud Case Suspended Over Immunity + 7 Ex-Governors On Trial – EFCC

The Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, has said the alleged fraud case against the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has been suspended as a result of his election and current status.

The EFCC spokesman also said the commission’s cases against seven ex-governors on money laundering and related cases are ongoing in various courts in the country.

Uwujaren said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday that the commission also recovered N65,320,669,350.35 between 2012 and 2014 and $245, 952,030.13 during the period.


The ex-governors, according to him, are Chimaroke Nnamani, Orji Kalu, Joshua Dariye, Abubakar Audu, Danjuma Goje, Akwe Doma and Rev. Jolly Nyame.

He added that while Orji Kalu was still challenging the competence of the commission to file charges against him, Joshua Dariye had been ordered to go on trial by the Supreme Court, where he had contested the verdict of the Court of Appeal that the commission could file charges against him.


FCT Minister, Ribadu, Others Eye PDP Chairmanship Seat

Following the resignation of its former Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commenced the process of selecting a new Chairman. Five candidates have signified their intentions to occupy the exalted office.

They are Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

The others are the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil; former Special Adviser (Political Matters) to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak and onetime PDP National Administrative Secretary, Habu Fari.

All the candidates are from the North East zone. The party is believed to have zoned the position to the zone, since the last two chairmen of the party were from there.

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PDP’s Ribadu Gracious In Adamawa Poll Defeat

The losing candidate in the Adamawa State governorship poll, Nuhu Ribadu, has appreciated his supporters for backing him during the election period.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate lost to Umar Jibrilla Bindow of the All Progressives Congress. “I came into this race knowing fully well that political contests are two-way traffics – one either wins or loses. As a man of faith, I was also aware that leadership responsibility is a product of God’s annointment,” Ribadu said.

He said in the course of the elections, he had seen genuine support and encouragement from the people of Adamawa State. Several individuals from Adamawa and beyond contributed generously to keep the campaign going and many others devoted their time, energy and intellect to see to the success of this project, Ribadu added. “I sincerely appreciate this belief in my person and my ambition,” Ribadu said.

He also appreciated the support he received from President Goodluck Jonathan and the party leaders in the state. “The support I got from my party’s leadership and individual members from President Goodluck Jonathan down to the party agents in our polling units was overwhelming and gratifying.”

He also hailed the party leader in the state, Bala James Ngilari, and the state party chairman, Joel Madaki.

Ribadu welcomed the result and congratulated the winner. “I pray that at the end of it all the state will witness the needed progress and development it so much desires,” he concluded.

Credit: CAJ News

I will Concede Defeat if I Lose Election, says Ribadu

The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Adamawa, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, said on Saturday that he would concede defeat if the election was against him.

Ribadu, who expressed satisfaction with the process of the elections, made the statement shortly after casting his vote at the Aliyu Mustafa polling unit in Yola.

“I will accept the outcome even if it is against me.”

Voting has begun in Yola and its environs. Low turnout of voters was, however, observed in some polling units In Yola North and South local government areas

4 Adamawa Gubernatorial Candidates Endorse Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu, has received a boost with four of his challengers stepping down for him. The candidates declared their support for Mr. Ribadu at a press conference held Thursday in Yola.

Those who have endorsed Mr. Ribadu were the candidates of KOWA party, Mega Progressive Peoples Party, MPPP; National Conscience Party, NCP; and All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.

A spokesperson for the group, Abdulnasir Hamman, and candidate of MPPP said “our decision was compelled by our desire to put in place a credible government that Adamawa people can be proud”.

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Missing N30trn Story Difficult to Believe- Ribadu

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has pooh-poohed allegations by the former Central Bank governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo that N30 trillion was stolen under the watch of the coordinating Minister of the economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Ribadu spoke in an interview in Abuja, pointing out that he was not only baffled but amused over the allegation, as he knew that Okonjo-Iweala was ‘’honest, reliable and of impeccable character.’’

His words: “I was baffled and got deluded for anyone to say that N30 trillion got lost, I think we just have to look at what we earn as a country and what our budget had been in these few years.

“And see how possible is it and if everything we earned is not up to that within the period she has ben the minister which is about three to four years.

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Ribadu, Folarin, Okowa, Agbaje, Others Win PDP Governorship Primaries

The PDP primaries exercises produced shocking results in some states. Most of the out-going governors such as Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Theodore Orji of Abia, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Sule Lamido of Adamawa ‘delivered’ their favoured aspirants as candidates just as former Minister of State (Education), Mr. Nyesom Wike came out tops in Rivers in spite of pre-primaries opposition from some PDP elders and stakeholders in the state, while Mr. Jimi Agbaje emerged winner in Lagos.

After last-minute high-wire battle for delegates’ votes in which some aspirants offered mouth-watering sums of money and got delegates to swear. Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, emerged PDP governorship candidate for Delta. He polled 406 votes. Olorogun David Edevbie, the consensus candidate of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), who also reportedly got the backing of the state government, scored 299 votes to come second.

Other results as announced by Sunday Kareem, the returning officer were as follows:  Victor Ochei (185 votes), Ndudi Elumelu (50 votes), Godsday Orubebe (49) and Godswill Obielum (22). Sylvester Monye, Ovie Omo-Agege and Sam Obi got 10 votes each;  Peter Okocha had six votes, Tony Obuh (five), Charles Emetulu (four), Kenneth Gbagi (two) and Mike Uwaka (one vote). One vote was voided.

Agents of some governorship aspirants in Delta State openly shared money to delegates, yesterday, at the venue of the primary, giving them Bible and oil to swear that they would not vote for another candidate. Reporters witnessed a case at about 4.00 pm when a delegate was offered N500,000 and there was a heated debate before he finally swore and collected his cash. Some aspirants offered delegates N1million each to vote for them and one reportedly gave 10,000 dollars each. One of the aspirants confirmed that he was aware other aspirants were bribing delegates, but he urged those who collected money to vote for him because he is the right candidate.

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

The Lynching of Nuhu Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu’s defection from the All Progressive Congress to the ruling People’s Democratic Party has been greeted with savage personal attacks that have condemned him as a perfidious and opportunistic turncoat. By joining the PDP, the former anti-corruption czar is said to have betrayed his principles. Ribadu, it appears, is being held to a very rigorous standard of consistency – one that could only possibly be met by a political clairvoyant.The absurdity and unfairness of the moral standard being applied to Ribadu become apparent when applied to the broader political landscape. Take Muhammadu Buhari who is widely lionized by his supporters as an incorruptible paragon. In 1998, he had told the BBC that he believed politics was “full of fraudulent acts.” “I cannot join people who will go and loot the treasury,” he insisted, “I have no plans to participate in politics” (Tell, March 16, 1998). In October 2000, Buhari stridently denied any interest in politics saying, “I have no desire to take part in partisan politics.” He was adamant that he would “not take part in partisan politics” despite being approached to do so (The Guardian, October 6, 2000). Within a few years, Buhari was seeking the grandest prize in Nigerian politics.

After his failed 2007 presidential bid, Buhari told the BBC, “I have been deceived by politicians, by the people who drafted me into politics. I have discovered that the people who drafted me into politics were not sincere after all; they only wanted to use me to get appointments or for their personal aggrandizement and not to serve the nation or the masses” (The News, September 24, 2007). Buhari was referring to, among other people, the All Nigeria People’s Party chairman Edwin Ume-Ezeoke and the then Kano State Governor Ibrahim Shekarau.

Should we not denounce Buhari for lacking discernment and for being serially deceived by corrupt politicians or for being unprincipled enough to team up with the same politicians he had vilified for being rogues? Is he not an inconsistent hypocrite for allying with Shekarau once again in the APC? No doubt, his supporters would prefer to see this as evidence of his forgiving spirit. No matter. After losing the 2011 polls, Buhari called time on his political career stating that there would be no more presidential bids. But yet again, he reneged on this promise. By the measure with which Ribadu has been judged, Buhari would have to be condemned as a congenital liar; a typical politician who cannot keep his word and is therefore no different from the much maligned Goodluck Jonathan who pledged to govern for only one term but has since reviewed his stance.

By the rigorous standards of political morality applied to Ribadu, it would be impossible for the APC itself (or indeed any of our political parties) to have come into existence. It would be unethical for veterans of the 1990 pro-democracy movement like Bola Tinubu and Kayode Fayemi to countenance making common cause with Tom Ikimi, who served as General Sani Abacha’s foreign minister, and Buhari who also served in that junta and persistently claims that Abacha was not the thieving despot that he undeniably was.

In late 2009, Ume-Ezeoke paid a solidarity visit to Shekarau, then governor of Kano State and lauded him for resolutely refusing to jump ship like other ANPP governors that had defected to the PDP – a strange remark since Ume-Ezeoke himself had championed his party’s alliance with the PDP in a so-called government of national unity two years earlier. Shekarau replied that Nigerians were in dire need of redemption from what he derisively called the “property development party” – a party which he said was suffering from a “cancerous ego and political jaundice” (The News, December 7, 2009).  Shekarau is now a PDP chieftain.

The APC chieftain, Nasir El-Rufai, who came to fame while serving in a PDP government, evinces little discomfort at being in the same party with Atiku Abubakar, the former vice-president whom he criticized for corruption in his memoirs. Abubakar’s trajectory in the last seven years has seen him migrate from the PDP to the Action Congress back to the PDP and now to the APC.

It is still unclear why PDP’s poaching of Jimi Agbaje or Ribadu provokes diatribes against these gentlemen while the APC’s recruitment of PDP stalwarts like Rabiu Kwankwaso, Rotimi Amaechi and Bukola Saraki is hailed as a victory for progressives. What exactly makes Ali Modu Sherriff or the catastrophically inept Murtala Nyako progressives? We may now await the defection to the APC of Aminu Tambuwal, a leader of one of the most avaricious legislatures in parliamentary history and his consequent baptism as a “progressive.”  It is worth noting that some of the elements now castigating Ribadu were involved in the ACN’s betrayal of his presidential candidacy in 2011 in favour enabling the PDP’s victory in the southwest.

In October 2010, El-Rufai issued a scathing public statement asserting that Buhari “remained perpetually unelectable” and that his “insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus” are already well known. He cited the draconian record of Buhari’s military regime as proof of “the essence of his intolerance” and rubbished Buhari’s presidential aspirations saying that it was now “time for a new generation of leaders with new thinking and wholesome democratic attitudes to move our nation forward.” Buhari’s ill-tempered reaction to his suggestion that he abandon his presidential quest was “proof enough that a Buhari, the new Democrat, tolerant of views different from his own, is yet to evolve” but it would “take more than attacks on personalities to become electable. Having seen his version of discipline, Nigerians are not likely to cherish an encore.”(

El-Rufai’s acidic comments on Buhari’s electability would later be seized upon by Jonathan’s campaign team. In his memoirs, The Accidental Public Servant, published in 2013, El-Rufai (now a Buhari ally) lamented that his comments on the former head of state were still being brought up incessantly “as if I could not change my views based on new facts, information or emerging circumstances” (p.450). Herein lies the central lesson. Politicians change their views all the time based on “new facts, information or emerging circumstances.” Like Ribadu, Buhari, El-Rufai, Atiku and any political personage we care to name have at various times exercised the prerogative of changing their own minds.

It remains only for voters to decide whether or not these changes in perspective constitute such egregious reversals that they permanently place the politicians in question in terminal disrepute. In making this judgment, it is important that we do not hold politicians to a standard higher than that to which we are willing to subject ourselves. Nor should we confuse prideful inflexibility and our delusions of infallibility for a noble fidelity to principle. Being flexible enough to learn, adapt, and change one’s ways is, after all, also a principle, and a worthy one at that.

It would take people who have never changed their views and never will; people who are either incapable of learning or unwilling to do so, to insist on the exacting standards of consistency with which Ribadu is being bludgeoned. Inflexibility and infallibility are dangerous.

Of course, utterances matter and public figures should be called out on their perceived inconsistencies as a means of keeping them honest. Here, for example, is a scorcher from that erstwhile scourge of corrupt and inept power-brokers, Reuben Abati in The Guardian of October 2, 2005: “Even when a Nigerian leader is openly stupid, a Nigerian in search of his or her own share of the national cake, and who has been invited to come and eat, cannot summon the courage to tell him so. The unfortunate thing is that the people who manage to get to the corridors of power are ever so grateful that they dare not speak the truth.” As self-indicting, self-fulfilling prophecies go, this statement is probably unparalleled.

Given the melodrama surrounding Ribadu’s defection, it is perhaps necessary to seek electoral reforms that would allow independent candidacies. Letting individuals run on their personal antecedents rather than on nebulous party platforms may give us more clarity in judging their worthiness for public office. It will also save us the histrionics that accompanies these defections. In the meantime, we should weigh the choices before us and vote for good governance regardless of what party label it comes under.

Political nomadism is to be expected in an environment where ideological distinctions are still ill-defined and where self-interest, patriotism, idealism and Faustian pragmatism must necessarily co-exist.  We must also grasp the distinction between political expediency and administrative acumen. The fact that Kwankwaso and Amaechi were once in the PDP does not detract from their administrative accomplishments. Similarly, in or out of the APC, Ribadu remains a superior alternative to Nyako.  

Our addiction to cartoonish heroes and villains warps our electoral choices. Democratic politics is not about canonizing saints. At worst, it is a calculus of greater and lesser evils. At best, it offers a choice between competence and incompetence. The important thing is to choose, on balance, the best man or woman for the job.

By Chris Ngwodo
Author and Public Affairs Analyst 
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Former presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has given reasons  why he abandoned his presidential ambition to contest the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Adamawa     State governorship poll.

Mallam Ribadu, speaking  after he submitted his nomination form  with journalists at the national headquarters of the PDP in   Abuja on Monday, said that his desire to be of service at any level propelled him to drop his ambition of presiding over Nigeria.

Mr Ribadu, who was a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said, “Everything in my life has been about public service. I’m prepared to serve in any capacity.

“If you ask me to come and be a sweeper of any street in any part of the country, I’m ready to do that. I don’t even have power of my own in any part.”

Asked if he was worried that the PDP was yet to grant him and other defected aspirants waivers needed to contest the primary, he categorically said no.

”I am not worried about the waiver. I have followed the rules. I am a law and order person. I have done my own bit and I will wait for the party to do their own. That part is not my responsibility,” he said.

Under the constitution of the party, new members and returnees are not qualified to seek elective positions until after two years, except they get a waiver.

Section 50 (9) of the PDP constitution says, “There shall be a minimum of two year membership span for a member to be eligible to stand for election into any public office, unless the appropriate executive committee gives a waiver or rules to the contrary.”

Meanwhile, other aspirants have insisted that the party must conduct proper primary to choose the party’s candidate for the October 11 election.

The aspirants spoke when they came to also submit their nomination forms to the party’s national leadership, which was received by the National Organisation Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha.

The aspirants included the former Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Modibbo; Acting Governor of the state, Ahmed Fintiri; former Presidential Adviser, Ahmed Gulak; and the former ACN governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Marcus Gundiri.

Others are  Dr. Umar Ardo, Senator Ahmed Girei, Gen. A.A.Kana (retd.), Buba Marwa , Awwal Tukur and Aliyu Idi-Hong.

Modibbo said, “People soul d be allowed to contest. We should not pay too much attention to consensus. Our tragedy in the state was that we did not do the proper thing when we chose the past leader he added .

An Open Letter to the Broom Deity – Ogunyemi Bukola

Broom 2When I was young and naïve, accosting the threshold of manhood; the scales had just fallen off my eyes, and I was appalled by the pervasive darkness that has long ensnared our land. It was no anathema; in all other lands far and near, history pages testify of progressions from darkness to light. And such light, by reason of the discovery of some brighter light, would soon wane into gloominess and be condemned as archaism. But it’s too intense here; impervious and formidable. Cockcrow is no omen of dawn. Night reigned and ceded not power to day. But night by day, and day by night, with tyrannical viciousness, darkness prevailed.

Many plagues, lowly esteemed in other lands, proved incurable, even snails have venom and evoked fear like snakes. No god had been denied it’s due. No deity was offended. No taboo broken. Nevertheless, the number of failure increased with the number of rituals to liberate the race.

Father said it was not always like this. He told me the once upon a time tale of when our land was rich, blessed and peaceful. The people served the deities and denied them not their rights. Then the white deity came and said our people were backward and uncivilized. So they dethroned our kings, disrobed our priests and ruled over us. And all manners of abomination followed. Fathers began to sell their sons for the white deity’s gifts. Brothers sold themselves into slavery. The people abandoned their deities and followed the white deity.

The incursion of the white deity into our land wasn’t all a tale of tragedies, his priests did bring some good with them. Our children had access to the white deity’s knowledge, with which they have been able to cure diseases and build machines. But his priests plundered our land, turned the people against their deities, made us forsake our language and the culture of our land.

A hundred years ago, father said, a certain priest of the white deity which ruled over lands in the North and South decreed us into one land, and his woman gave us a strange name, which we bear till this day. More than four decades later, our people won the battle for the rulership of our land to be transferred back to the priests of our own deities.

The priests of the white deity left, but the seeds they had planted in our land had taken root. Barely three years later, the priests of the deity of force took power from the priests appointed for us. They cited corruption and bad leadership as reasons for the takeover. Then war. The people of the land on the East said it was time to go their own way. The rest of the land said there was no way. Like a people cursed, brothers took up arms against brothers, children died in their thousands. But the priests of the deity of force wouldn’t give up power. One generation after the other, one batch after the next, each citing corruption and bad leadership as reasons for leaving their posts to rule the people. Terror reigned supreme, the people lived in fear. Other lands mocked us, some even shut their doors against us. The few that could speak up against evil in the land were killed, others fled, the rest kept mute, and the men in them died.

Then the gods came to our rescue, the priests-turned-dictators agreed to hand over power to the priests appointed by the people in line with the traditions of the white deity. So the people gathered and formed deities among themselves. The priest of the deity of raincover was then appointed leader over the people, for he promised to protect them from rain and sun, and be a shade over them. So the priests of the deity of raincover reigned over the land one dozen years. But the people of the land were dissatisfied, for the priests lived in opulence while poverty pervaded the land. And the priests of the deity of raincover formed over themselves canopy of comfort and plenty, while the raincover was turned into a weapon of oppression, thrusting into the people. And other deities in the land couldn’t oppose the deity of raincover, for there was much division amidst them.

Then a wicked priest of the deity of raincover arose in the land, and deceived many till he became leader over them. And he did much wickedness in the land, and desecrated the shrines his fathers had built, and frittered away the resources, and caused much disunity among the people. In his time, the deity of terror became strong, and there was much death in the land, as was the case in the days of the deity of terror.

So the people cried unto other deities in the land to deliver them. So the deities gathered themselves from the North, East and West and after the similitude of a broom renamed themselves for the progress of the land. And they came to be known as the broom deity, signifying unity for the purpose of sanitation.

Oh broom deity, you promise to sweep the corridors of power and sanitize our land, to keep us united and progressive. You promise us a better society, jobs for our children, jobs for our adults, and food for all. You promise to build our schools and hospitals, to recover the loots carted away by leaders before you. We want all these, but would we know you won’t turn on us later like other deities have done?

But oh deity, we heard some of the corrupt priests of the deity of raincover now worship at your shrine. All the priests of the deity of raincover have found space in your abode, with their dirty hands and evil hearts. Oh deity, we rejoiced at your coming, but why is it that we can no longer see any difference between you and deities we are wishing away? Your priests have been going around begging high priests which wrought terror in the land to worship at your shrine. How is it that the enemies of the land have become your friend?

And one of your priests even went to wine and dine with the high priests of the deity of raincover while we were mourning the death of our people. Some of your priests which rule in the regions within the land have not done any better the priests of the other deities. Some have said your priests want power only for themselves, while others said your some of your priests are behind the terror in the land, all for power.

Oh deity, what shall you do with our sacrifice of votes in 2015? Shall this broom turn around and become another cane on our backs? Oh broom deity, are you the savior we expect, or shall we await another?

Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.