Bode George, Ribadu Unveiled – by Zainab Tersoo
When I first read news item titled: “Nuhu Ribadu lied on conviction of Bode George— ANPP”, written by Abbas Jimoh of Daily Trust Newspapers of Monday, 02 November 2009, what first came to my mind was that the ANPP were just trying to settle some cheap political scores with the publication. My sympathy at that time was still with the embattled Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, had said that Ribadu who operated like an assassin dog in the hands of Obasanjo, in his war of attrition against his political opponents, used the EFCC to humiliate his master's perceived enemies, while at the same time gave protective cover to the most corrupt Nigerians of that era, such as George. Hear Eneukwu: “In case Ribadu has forgotten, it was this same case of monumental fraud against Olabode George and his co-travelers in the NPA Board that exposed his, Ribadu's, double standard in the fight against corruption during the regime of his master and political mentor, former President Olusegun Obasanjo,”.
Up till this very point, I was still unable to fathom a guess as to the real motive of the ANPP and what they wanted to achieve. While still ruminating over the “anti- Ribadu” publication, I woke up last Sunday, November 8, 2009, to read what I would describe as the greatest shocker on the Ribadu/ Bode George's scandal.
Page 47 of The Sunday Sun was a full page advertorial sponsored by Concerned Citizen Against Corruption, CCAC. The publication clearly exposed Nuhu Ribadu as a man who speaks from both sides of his mouth. It was titled: Nuhu Ribadu's Double Speak.
The publication, unlike what I first read in the Daily Trust of the previous week, came up with more details of the scandal, quoting copiously, an interview the former EFCC boss granted The NEWS magazine in 2007.
For the avoidance of doubt, I hereafter, reproduced the quote as published by the Sunday Sun Newspapers: Nuhu Ribadu: “Olabode George was never an executive officer of NPA. He was a part-time Chairman. It is the Executive Managing Director who runs the place; it was the MD's name that appeared in all the contract papers of NPA. Olabode George was a part-time Chairman whose name was never on any contract paper”.
“In early 2008, Ribadu went for a course at NIPSS, Mrs. Farida Waziri, AIG Retd, stepped in as the EFCC Chairman in June 2008. On August 8, 2008, Mrs. Waziri arraigned Bode George and Five others. 14 months after, she got a major conviction following a meticulous prosecution of the case.
“It is also shocking that Ribadu could boast of long and strained investigation leading to the indictment of Bode George in 2005. “At moments like this, investigators, stretched out in exhilarating adrenalin, are rightly thrilled that their hard work is rewarded by the society and its best institutions” This is hypocricy per excellence!
“So Ribadu's investigation had indicted Bode George in 2005 yet he told The NEWS magazine in February 2007 that Olabode George was a saint”, the Sunday Sun Newspaper's publication had reported.
It would be recalled Ribadu, after the judgment of Justice Joseph Oyewole on October 26, 2009 sent e-mail to media houses praising the courage of Justice Oyewole. Hear him: “I salute the courage and intellect of the learned judge who has demonstrated over time that he is an exemplary reference point in the fight against corruption and for a true definition of rule of law in the country. As is very well known, the successful resolution of cases in favour of justice and equity, commence from a thorough investigation. In this regards, we must also salute the long and strained investigation leading to the indictment of Bode George in 2005. At moments like this, investigators, stretched out in exhilarating adrenalin, are rightly thrilled that their hard work is rewarded by the society and its best institutions. It was a measure of the shameless of our elites and the institutions that fuel their values that Chief Olabode George could be awarded a national honour in our country, and that he could later sue some newspapers for libel on the account of the damning indictment report I prepared against him. Chief George's subsequent prosecution is evident that ultimately the law catches up with the bad guys. Our country will rise against the present rot! The conviction of the five former NPA board members will mark a great reference point in the investigation, prosecution, and trial of corruption cases in Nigeria .”
Nigerians were therefore asked to spot the difference between Ribadu's statements in 2007 to The NEWS magazine, against the one he made after the Justice Oyewole's judgment in 2009.
It was at this juncture that I came to the realization that spoken words are indeed sacred. They are like egg, once broken, can't be packaged. Why vindicate Bode George of all the allegations leveled against him only to turn around to not only take glory for a supposedly painstaking investigation, but also a pat at the Judge's back for a job well done? These are issues that still beat my imagination.
Ultimately, I have come to the realization of one fact: that Ribadu was one of the political machinery disguised in anti-corruption regalia, under the former President Olusegun Obasanjo's regime, to cover up corrupt political elites like Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP.
Conclusively, there is a difference between true and true lies. Truth stands the test of time while true lies, are mere words or action taking to show your personal aggrandizement.
The conviction of Bode George is a true reflection of the efforts of the Chairman, EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri's fight for the emancipation of the masses from the hands of these criminals who parade themselves as political elites. Therefore Ribadu should keep shut and pound over his sins.
ABU, Zaria- Nigeria