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I Didn’t Remove Ribadu From Office, His Excesses Did – Ibori


BEVERLY HILLS, December 18, (THEWILL) – Former Governor of Delta state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has asked journalists to stop maligning him declaring that he was not responsible for the removal of Nuhu Ribadu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement released on Sunday by Tony Eluemunor, Head of Ibori's Media Office, Ibori condemned reports that also linked him with the refusal of the Senate to confirm the Acting Chairman of the EFCC.

“What makes it galling is that the matter under contention was the Department of State Security's report that stopped the Senate from confirming Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and did not warrant the dragging in of Ibori's name at all,” the statement read.

“Specifically, on allegation one: That during the tenure of Farida Waziri as EFCC chairperson, sensitive documents were found in Mr. Magu's home. The facts do not support that claim.

“Ibori is not concerned with the fact that the publication chose not to cross-check the facts but rested on answers a journalist got almost a decade ago, and he did not say how he acquired that information.

“What Ibori finds irresponsible is what follows: 'Based on pressure from political gladiators of the period (among which were former Governors James Ibori and Bukola Saraki), then President Musa Yar'Adua unceremoniously removed Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the EFCC.'

“Mr. Nasir el-Rufai has exposed this claim as a terrible lie. In his book, 'The Accidental Public Servant', he stated the source of the trouble he and Ribadu had with the late President Umar Yar'Adua.

“On page 358, in a section entitled 'Umaru Asks Nuhu for Support: the Beginning of Our Trouble', he wrote that Ribadu was so maddened that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had favoured Yar'Adua above Nasir-el-Rufai to succeed him as President in 2007 that he told Yar'Adua to his face.

“El-Rufai continued on page 359: 'It took sometime before Nuhu figured out Obasanjo's games and what was really happening. Nuhu's instinctive reaction was that of a typical policeman – dust of EFCC's files and comb for petitions against Umaru. Nuhu did not realize it at that time, but he was the one in trouble not Obasanjo or Umaru. He dusted off all the files against Umaru and launched investigations. He was clearly trying to take Yar'Adua out of the race and narrow all options to zero except for El-Rufai.

“It is clear that from El-Rufai's that there was no way a clear-headed Yar-Adua would have appointed a power-drunken Ribadu, who had unjustly arrested some Katsina state's LGA chairmen just to demonise Yar'Adua to remain as EFCC Chairman – to continue to arrest people unjustly, play politics with his office and hypocritically claim to be fighting corruption when he was neck deep in the worst corruption – maligning others just because of politics.

Story by Oputah David