Mallam Nuhu Ribadu: Shut Up or Resign Now!

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

According to the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper (October 19, 2007), “the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plans to arraign no fewer than six former governors in court for allegedly corruptly enriching themselves while in office… the six former governors would be charged to court latest by December.” The paper quoted the Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as saying: “Governors are so afraid wherever they go now…For us to win this war against corruption, we have to start at the top and trickle down…there is a silent revolution triggered by this fight against corruption.” To this and other such statements from Ribadu, I say: Nonsense! Utter nonsense! Who is afraid of him, who is afraid of the EFCC?

Mr. Nuhu Ribadu is nothing but a raconteur, a noise maker, a showman and a showboat and a loudspeaker. He plays to the gallery. He enjoys traversing the world mostly for meaningless awards, and to give redundant speeches. This is a man who doesn’t mind showing up in Siberia, Tincan Island, or the Death Valley, to address half-a-dozen or so people. He likes to hear himself talk and talk and talk until he get hoarse and gruffly. In the five or so years since he assumed the chairmanship of the EFCC, what has he accomplished? What has he done to warrant his continued employment? Nothing! Simply put: He is a drag and drain on the country. He is a waste and a failure.

Nuhu Ribadu goes around town growling and woofing. He goes from one media house to another beating his chest, praising his agency and himself. He cannot stop talking about what he is doing, what he intends to do, and what he is dreaming about. Poor Ribadu, the fellow cannot help himself. He just cannot help himself. Criminals are running circles around him. Thieves and fools and political bastards are throwing celebratory parties while he is going around town yakking about how he is going to do this and that and that and this to them. Ooppss, they laugh at him. They simply laugh at him. They laugh because they know the kind of character he and his agency are: talkers!

Nuhu Ribadu had done nothing, accomplished nothing to justify his position and the millions of dollars he and his agency has spent pursuing criminals. The EFCC has failed the country. And Nuhu Ribadu himself is a monumental failure. If he is any serious, he should begin with former President Obasanjo and his erstwhile deputy, Abubakar Atiku. He should follow that up with people like Ibrahim Babangida, Dan Etete and the rest of the posse. Next are the likes of Peter Odili, Igbinedion, James Ibori, Ahmed Tinubu, Orji Kalu and some five thousand Nigerians (mostly ministers, legislators, commissioners, and all the PDP higher-ups).

How difficult is it to gather evidence against these men and women? How difficult is it to make his case before the Nigerian Courts? How difficult is it to convince foreign courts in the pursuant of his duty? The EFCC has become a joke, the laugh stock of all towns and villages. The Commission and its Chairman are known around town as barkers and loudspeakers. Now, how smart, diligent and serious does he and his agency have to be before they successfully arrest and prosecute criminals? It is not enough to prosecute common criminals and petty thieves. We all know who the big-guns are. The big-guns and higher-ups are the people he should go after. But he can. He won’t. He is afraid.

But nobody is afraid of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Nobody is scared of the EFCC. Nobody who is anybody even pays them mind. Everybody knew that Obasanjo’s war-against-corruption was a charade; and was also selective in whom it pursued. In any case, the Obasanjo’s government was mostly interested in scaring the daylight out of his enemies. In other words, the EFCC and its Chairman was Obasanjo’s bulldog — used to scare those who disobeyed the President. Ironically, the guilty got wise and found ways to stick it to the government. We have a new government now; but there is nothing new in this “old bottle.” PDP is PDP: Yar’Adua is Obasanjo and Obasanjo is Yar’Adua. And so the fraudulent music continues. And we have Mallam Ribadu beating the drums the loudest.

Former and current governors go in and out of the country at will. Former and current ministers and commissioners and advisers and members of their syndicate roam the country and the world freely. These people laugh at him. They spit in his face. They snicker whenever they hear his name. Yet, the Commission claims to have “recorded a major feat in its anti-corruption war when, a few months ago, it succeeded in securing the conviction of Chief Alamieyeseigha whose properties worth billions of dollars were confiscated by the government.” Oh really? What a joke! What a laughing matter! Next, Nuhu Ribadu is going to say he got a dozen pound of flesh from Tafa Balogun, the former Inspector General of Police.

Nigeria is like a booty-call, like a prostitute: anybody can do her. You do her and then you laugh in her face. No matter what you do or say to her, there are no repercussions, no penalties. In any case, a slap on the wrist is not justice; it is not a pointed deterrent. And because there are no justice, no sanctions and no deterrents, nobody gives a hoot about what they do to the country. They just do her, again and again and again. They just do her! They do her knowing they can get away with it. A country with fragile institutions, weak and fraudulent government, with diminished capacity to provide basic needs, security and other political goods is not a country that can thrive in this or any other century. Such a country cannot thrive and succeed more so since it has thieves and charlatans and vagabonds at the helm of affairs.

Question: what doesn’t Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC get about corruption? What is it about simple arithmetic don’t they understand? Eight weeks before General Sani Abacha threw General Olusegun Obasanjo in the gulag, how much was he worth? Eight weeks before and after he became the President of the Republic, how much was he worth? Eight weeks after he left the presidency, how much was he worth? Using about the same calculation for Ibori, Odili, Orji Kalu, Igbinedion, Dariye, Daukoru and all former governors and ministers and legislators, we’d know how much they stole.

Even with this and other pointers, Nuhu Ribadu is telling us he has no evidence against Obasanjo, Abubakar Atiku and others?! He need not be a genius to find and present the evidence the Courts and the people require. We want justice and we want our money back. Most of all, we want our country back. Finally, the next time the EFCC Chairman opens his mouth, it is to tell us he has found unassailable evidence of corruption and abuse of power against all the men and women who has been abridging and abusing the laws of our land. And then drag them through the court system. Otherwise, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu should resign. He should leave.

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Tony Anamege October 29, 2007 - 5:03 pm

It is silly to say he has not done squat. Tell me who else has made high and mid-level criminals quake in their boots for the most part? We just need to learn to give some credits where and when due. He is trying but I agree with you that time is ripe to go after much bigger fishes or should I say much bigger skunks. My major problem with Ribadu however, is he shoots his mouth off so much. You dont hear FBI or CIA Directors running their mouth as much about an investigation that is still in process. Neither do we hear from top law enforcement officers tell criminals what they have on them until time is ripe for that. As my father used to say, when a man beats his chest so much, he points the spirits to the source of his living or better yet the source of a spiders web lies in its belly.

Anonymous October 27, 2007 - 4:41 am

i am traumatised by the force and passion of this essay.As for the content, old news of old thieves getting away, always getting away

Paul O October 26, 2007 - 10:08 pm

You're very correct. Ribadu wants us to believe that he is a serious man even when he keeps telling Nigerians and the entire world that he has no case against his godfather Obasanjo, and would never probe him. We all seem to be forgetting that it was Obasanjo that put this man there and the same Obasanjo kept promoting this man every year even when it was obvious that he was not performing. As you said, until he can be bold enough to commece a probe against people like Obasanjo, IBB, Atiku, Anennih, Ibori, Igbinadion, Odili, Kalu, Tinubu etc., we are not buying his many tails about fighing corruption in Nigeria. The billions of Naira and other foreign currencies that the above mentioned criminals have stolen from the country is enough to transform Nigeria, similar to what is going on in DUBAI today. Infact, Ribadu is nothing but a lame duck. Nobody should take him serious unless he starts doing the right thing to justify his office and the billions his ministry is getting yearly to fight corruption in Nigeria. Otherwise, his time is up and he should quit that position ASAP and his position be taking over by someone like Gani who can fight the real war against corruption in Nigeria.

nelson October 26, 2007 - 5:13 pm

You are 100% right about the man in the helms of the efcc because he is not telling the real truth to himself

Mike October 26, 2007 - 3:11 pm

I knew it!


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