Re-The Many Lies in” Farida Waziri and Victor Uwajeh: Tale of Corruption, Incompetence and Betrayal
Our attention has been drawn to a report posted on Sahara Reporters today 13th March, 2010 with the above headline. It is unfortunate that you have returned with your exhibition of lies and concocted stories after a break of some months all in a desperate bid to set an agenda and satisfy the goals of your pay masters. This I know you will dispute but before you do, kindly permit me a space on your website to bring out the many lies in your fictional report which you called a result of your investigation.
Without mincing words, you have betrayed your partisanship in this “report|” by bringing yourself in as a party to a criminal matter which is already before a competent court in Abuja. Beside your deliberate efforts to heap all manner of lies on the EFCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri, I am also tempted to believe that you have deliberately chosen to take sides with a suspected criminal, Victor Osita Uwajeh who is already facing criminal charges.
The Facts About Victor Uwajeh
i. It is true that Victor Uwajeh started coming to the EFCC in 2008 to give information just like hundreds of other Nigerians who have been supporting the work of the commission with information and documentary evidence. Between October and November 2008, the accused person came up with a request that he needed a covering letter to enable him procure some documents for the commission outside the country. As such, the letter you referred to, was given to him but with a provision that if he cannot produce any documentary evidence within a space of six months, the letter would no longer be valid or tenable for assistance anywhere.
ii.It is to worthy to note that this letter is not a secret document but a public one because the EFCC has since January 2010 when Uwajeh was arraigned before an FCT High Court Gudu, Abuja, attached the letter as part of proof of evidence to the charge sheet.
iii.I am glad that you published the letter being referred to. Please note that there was nowhere in the letter where Uwajeh was referred to as a staff of the EFCC. Again, going by the date on the letter, it seized to be a tenable document since April, 2009.
iv.As it was later discovered, Uwajeh had gone out to print complimentary cards depicting himself as a staff of the EFCC and using same to extort money from people. Apart from this, he equally printed EFCC letterhead papers for his criminal use. All these and others such as the commission's acknowledgement stamp were recovered from his house when he was arrested.
v.Following reports that Uwajeh has been going round presenting himself as a staff of the EFCC, a team of operatives was detailed to trail him and investigate his activities with a view to getting specific evidence that could lead to his successful prosecution.
vi.Their efforts led to his arrest and a search on his house on January 13, 2010. Same day, the Commission issued a statement on his arrest. The whole essence of that was to alert the public that Uwajeh has never been a staff of the EFCC and also encourage those that might have been his victim to come forward with information and evidence. As a result, the accused was detained for about two weeks on the order of an Abuja court.
vii.Satisfied that there is enough evidence to prosecute Uwajeh successfully, the Commission charged him to court on January 28, 2010, on a four count charge bordering on impersonation and extortion. The court same day remanded Uwajeh in prison custody till March 4 when his bail application was considered.
viii.Based on results of investigation on Uwajeh's activities, the Commission had reasons to believe that his sudden wealth must be proceeds of crime and as such, EFCC filed for the forfeiture of the five assorted vehicles recovered from his house in addition to seizure of his other assets and bank accounts.
ix.While the trial Judge granted the Commission's forfeiture application, she equally granted the accused bail in the sum of N5 million and two sureties in like sum.
x.Faced with the consequence of his dubious actions, Uwajeh has left no one in doubt that he he would be all out to seek for means of blackmailing the EFCC and its leadership. As such, it will not be surprising if he is the source of all the falsehood Sowore has packaged and called investigative report. If indeed Uwajeh is sure of his tales, his trial in an open court has provided him an opportunity to prove his innocence.
xi.Let me emphasize that hundreds of informants assist the EFCC with information on a daily basis while the Commission on its part provides cover for them when necessary. They don't go out to parade themselves as officials of the EFCC talkless of abusing the privilege to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public.
i.According to your report “Uwajeh's hunt for Ribadu was soon expanded to include the operators of Sahara reporters, leading to a series of paid advertisements in Nigerian dailies (in 2008) in which Omoyele Sowore was allegedly to own four properties worth millions of dollars in New York area”. Your comment here has clearly portrayed you as one who is a party in this matter.It has equally shown why there is so much bile in this report. This therefore explains your partisanship and inability to write objectively.ii.Again, you wrote that “Uwajeh had a habit of packaging all this useless information and handing them over to Femi Babafemi, a former Sun newspaper reporter with links to Buba Marwa. The Sun, a Nigerian Tabloid is owned by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu”. My reaction: Since Uwajeh who was obviously your enermy before has now turned your comrade, please ask him again if I ever collected any document from him. I never did and I assume this is either Uwajeh”s concoction or your usual fiction. Your reference to my links to Marwa here also shows you are a good fiction writer. Remember, in 2008 you wrote that Orji Kalu who is the promoter of The Sun where I worked was the one who appointed me into EFCC. Have you forgotten? Please go and check your library of past falsehood. If you care to know, I worked in The Sun just like any other professional journalist but I have never met Kalu in my life, not even in my dreams. You can challenge me on this if you have facts and not fiction.
iii.You wrote that Uwajeh had investigated 72 cases for EFCC. Haba Sowore! An individual? I challenge you to list all these 72 cases if they exist not only in your imagination.
iv. You wrote that “Uwajeh was first held for 15 days at an underground detention cell at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, Shackled to the ground”. This is another lie cooked by you to deceive unsuspecting readers. Has Waziri built any cell other than the one in the operations' office of the Commission which was built by her predecessor, Mallam Ribadu. This must be pure hallucination. Where is the Shackle? Maybe you referred to the past era when accused persons are locked for months in defiance of court orders.
v.You wrote that some of the investigations carried out by Uwajeh include those of Atiku Abubakar, Nasir El-Rufai, Bode George and Lucky Igbinendon. Again, you lied. Remember that Ribadu was the one who launched an investigation against Atiku ahead of the 2007 elections all for the purpose of stopping him from contesting the presidential election. You will also remember that the result of that “investigation” never resulted in any court charges other than a list of indicted politicians who can't contest election? If you have also forgotten, El-Rufai”s investigation was carried out by Mr Ibrahim Lamorde as the Acting Chairman of EFCC then. Waziri met the case file and filed charges against the former FCT minister. Bode George's case was investigated by Ribadu but could not file charges against him because he was one of the untouchables then. Ribadu had admitted this in his statement when George was convicted last year. You have also forgotten that Lucky Igbinendon's case was already in court when Waziri took over in 2008. You can challenge me on all these if you have facts and not the fiction you packaged together to set a satanic agenda.vi. You wrote again that Mrs Waziri collected $2 million from Charles Soludo, $3 million from Lucky Igbinendon. Haba Sowore! You know you are lying and your conscience if you still have, will bear you witness that you lied against Mrs waziri. Rotimi Jacobs who has been prosecuting Igbinendon from the days of Ribadu was the same lawyer who worked on the plea bargain and is still the one who has taken the matter on appeal till today. Please provide details and evidence of these bribes if they are not figments of your imaginations.
vii.Again you wrote about $10 million collected from Liyel Imoke, governor of Cross River. This must also be in your dream. Otherwise, I challenge you to come out with the details and evidence. You have gone this far by fabricating lies against a woman and a mother in a public office because you believe Nigerians and indeed your readers like Sensationalism and Scandals. This is most unfair to your victims of character assassination and readers whose minds you daily pollute with hatred.
On Cecilia Ibru
i.You wrote that Uwajeh admitted forging EFCC letterhead papers to conduct some search on Ibru's properties in U.S. in August 2009. My response: if an accused admitted committing a crime, why are you condemning EFCC for charging the fellow to court where it will be fairly decided whether he is guilty or not. Yes, you will say but he has a letter authorizing him. Please remember that leter has become a useless paper since April 2009. As such, he can't do anything under the cover of the Commission. All other tales by Uwajeh in his affidavit which you published, he can best prove in court where he is presently standing trial.
ii.The Commission has filed two additional charges toUwajeh's charges based on his attempt to extort $2 million from Mrs Ibru. There are more to be added based on fresh findings on him. The court should therefore be allowed to serve as the arbiter and not a Sowore who is an interested or an aggrieved party.
You generously published a copy of my complimentary card and those of my colleagues. I don't know what you intend to achieve with this but our cards are in the public domain. They are mere cards which should not serve as an instrument of extortion by anyone. I wonder why Uwajeh did not give you the one he printed for himself as an EFCC staff to publish. I have gone this length to prove to you that you have only dished out falsehood as against what you want your readers to believe. I have not hidden anything and my conscience is clear on this but I doubt if you can beat your chest and say the same thing. You know as much as I do that you are part of a cabal that has never believed Waziri and indeed a woman can thread where your friends once reigned as emperors. There are records in EFCC today to show accused or convicts' assets, who bought what, for how much and where the funds are lodged. I doubt if that can be said of those whose interests you are protecting and as such Waziri must be lynched at all costs. Nigerians and indeed the world will soon discover whose interest your consistent lies against Waziri are mearnt to serve. While we leave the courts to determine the case of Uwajeh, only God can judge your hatred and malice against Mrs Waziri. I will remind you that what goes around also comes around, you have a mother and you will have a wife and a daughter one day if you have none yet.
Signed Femi Babafemi