Monday, February 28, 2011
MALLAM NUHU RIBADU IS NOT A SAINT - an article by SIYAN ADEOLA
The most important questions then and now remain the same. Where was/ is the money kept? If in banks, other than CBN, on what terms? Lack of accountability and transparency is itself the beginning and the end of corruption. Any man with real as opposed to “media”, integrity, should have answered in 2007 the question raised, but then, Ribadu was an untouchable in 2007 and the frenzy of election allowed him to get away with what was probably a major dereliction of duty – if not an indictable offence. Everybody should also recollect Ribadu’s roles in the Chief Bode George saga. First, Ribadu announced, with the usual fanfare that the EFCC had filed multiple charges against George. Later, Ribadu, with less publicity, quietly withdrew the charges. When challenged by the media, the former EFCC chairman asked anyone who had any evidence against George to come forward with it. What then did he take to court in the first instance? The story developed another twist when the new EFCC chairperson re-opened the case and obtained a conviction.
Ribadu, from far away United States, sent a statement to news media in Nigeria claiming credit for the result. Haba! Can anyone tell us where the integrity in this is? On March 26, 2009, Ribadu, in a hand-written witness statement submitted to the London Metropolitan Police accused Bola Tinubu of diverting the proceeds of the sale of V-Mobile shares belonging to Lagos State. Tinubu was forced to take out advertorials in several newspapers to defend himself. Clearly, somebody was lying. Did Bola Tinubu Fiddle with Lagos state money by diverting funds from shares sales or did Ribadu submit a false deposition? Either way, something stinks.
Yet, these are not exceptions to the rule. On the contrary, they represent a fair rendition of what the Ribadu years at the EFCC were all about. The real Ribadu and media Ribadu was a mirage foisted on the public. These are irrefutable facts which demonstrate that “Mr. Integrity Ribadu” is probably the greatest myth ever created in this country. But, let us end by reminding our people of one incident forgotten so soon. The Federal Government in 2007 allowed appointed officials occupying government houses to buy them. The former EFCC chairman, like others, applied to buy his own official residence. There is nothing wrong or questionable in that. Questions, however, arose, when it was discovered that the building carried a price tag several times what Ribadu has earned as a police officer. The last we heard before Ribadu absconded abroad, was that a relative gave him a “loan” to buy the property. On the surface, that would appear to be an adequate answer. But, it again raised questions not answered till today. A man who wants to be handed the Nigeria treasury should at least answer those questions.