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,
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.
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.