By ABUBAKAR JIMOH
It is no more news that the Federal Government has ordered the National Institute of Strategic Studies (NIPSS) to release the certificate of graduation of the institute to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu former boss of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). What is therefore the news is the alleged corrupt practices by Ribadu while he was the boss of the anti-corruption body.
From the media, Ribadu was said to have bought choice properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; in the British cities of Leeds and Chelsea as well as in Abuja’s posh Maitama District while he was boss of the anti-grant agency. The information came from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In addition to this, the report added that the former boss also failed to declare his assets at the Code of Conduct Bureau in violation of the requirement for all public officers. He was also accused of presiding over the sale of some property that were confiscated by the agency from the owners for investigation.
Before this development, there was allegation of disappearance or missing file from the custody of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on former governors under investigation. The public officers were said to have been investigated during the era of Ribadu but were not handed over to the new management under Farida Waziri.
The said missing files were to contain petitions against prominent personalities which include former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. It was this development that made the current chairman of EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri to recently disclose that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has no case to answer concerning the issue of corruption and other related offences during his tenure.
It was after this disclosure that many alleged cover-up and some non-governmental organisations disclosed that they had submitted petitions to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu when he was EFCC boss but without giving their petitions the attention.
I think the present EFCC can now take appropriate actions on fresh petitions submitted by Coalition Against Corrupt government officials.
Many have argued that there was no way Ribadu could have taken on the President on corrupt practices because of the fact that he appointed him into the position. Some even alleged that the rapid promotion of Nuhu Ribadu from Assistant Commissioner of police to Assistant Inspector General of Police within few years was bribery in disguise to protect the president and his cronies from prosecution.
Even if he had fear of losing his job, at the end of Obasanjo’s tenure he could have, as an intelligent officer, submit some of the petitions and documents to the in-coming new boss of EFCC since everybody wants the probing of the Obasanjo’s administration.
If files of similar public officers, tagged as corrupt like former governors and former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun who suffered humiliation during their investigation during the tenure of Mallam Ribadu were not missing in EFCC, definitely those containing prominent personalities like Chief Obasanjo and his daughter, Mrs. Iyabo Bello Obasanjo should not be missing. And if so it must be recovered immediately.
Anyway, what a man sowed shall he ripe. The ongoing battle against Mallam Ribadu will serve as a lesson, a life-time experience to all other public officers who because of their positions and the power they weighted from an administration look the other way and cover the negative side of their bosses, a day of reckoning would surely come. More importantly for those who are used mischievously to intimidate their fellow country men and women in the society. It is hoped that the current chairman of EFCC, Mrs. Waziri would have learnt from the past experiences of her predecessor.
Therefore, in discharging its duties, the EFCC should equally consider and respond to all corruption petition files submitted to it. This will enable the commission to achieve its objectives and recover its lost glory as an anti-corruption agency.