The picture is getting much clearer by the day as to the principal motive behind the deafening barrage of noises one has been subjected to of late by the media-savvy and egregiously manipulative former EFCC boss and his cheering foot-soldiers.
In what must be seen as a troubling development, the EFCC under the chairmanship of Mrs. Waziri is alleging, with the appropriate documentation at its disposal, it would seem, that the erstwhile EFCC boss failed to handover properly when he was relieved of his commission. Nuhu Ribadu only left a three-page handover note with Mr. Lamorde, his immediate successor (in acting capacity) at the EFCC. The EFCC has stated that some case files involving investigations of former governors suspected of involvement in corrupt practices did develop wings and mysteriously disappeared under Ribadu’s watch.
Now, simple summons, first, by the EFCC and then, by the police through the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for Nuhu Ribadu to go to the offices of the anti-corruption agency in order to clarify certain grey areas regarding, amongst other things, the missing dossiers, have been met with media-driven antics bordering on insubordination. This kind of unbecoming conduct by a serving police officer should not go unpunished.
Resorting to what has to be seen as the moral equivalent of an abuse of court processes, the former anti-corruption tsar, as his acolytes prefer to call him, hedged, refused service orders by adopting puerile hide-and-seek tactics, not to mention his trademark playing to the gallery as a putative victim of mythical forces that do not wish our nation well. Only the guilty run when nobody is pursuing them.
Predictably, Nuhu Ribadu’s latest shenanigans have sent his horde of cynical apologists into a frenzy of contrived indignation. Discarding any semblance of rationality and good judgment, they feebly and unconvincingly put out narratives about the man’s supposed heroism as a “dogged” and determined anti-corruption fighter even when the grim evidence at our disposal does paint an entirely different picture.
Nigerians must learn to rise above the orchestrated cacophony of deceit around the former head of the EFCC. Nuhu Ribadu is no hero. He is a fraud – a masquerade who has so efficiently, if sinisterly exploited Nigerians’ hunger for a sane, corruption-averse society in order to perpetrate unpardonable crimes against Nigeria and its democratic project. Fresh revelations by the EFCC would seem to confirm our stand in that regard. We will get back to them in a short while. For now, let me add this note of emphasis on the Ribadu phenomenon of brazen impunity which has become an abiding cautionary tale on how not to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Earlier, I did mention the case of the ex-governors’ missing files. What could possibly inform the decision of the former EFCC chairman to cart away or have sensitive files destroyed following his deserved sacking? Discerning observers like this one have watched the man closely enough to be able to venture the following explanation: It is in the man's character to behave in the manner being suggested.. What must be seen as an unconscionable attempt to tamper with evidence could also very well be influenced by Ribadu's pathological need to create a false aura of indispensability around his person. By deliberately removing those files, he knows very well that the criminal gesture is bound to create (temporary) obstacles in the way of the new staff at the EFCC. A conceivably halting, if initially unsure start on the part of his successor regarding inherited investigations will provoke cynicism and suspicion in the minds of the unsuspecting who, sooner than later, will start entertaining nostalgia about the Ribadu era. On the other hand, it could be a dumb (?) way to tell the individuals he was set-upon by his political master that he played the Ribadu equivalent of a deus ex machina by performing abracadabra on their files. Nuhu will thus be a hero once again, except that this time around, his heroism will be for an exclusive club of powerful and potentially dangerous men. Just like our poor Ribadu.
It has been reported in this week’s local Nigerian press that the EFCC is alleging, amongst other damning transgressions, that while he was still the chairman of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu bought at least four houses for himself at choice locations in Abuja, Dubai and Britain! “ A senior official in the agency indentified the properties acquired by Ribadu to include the house at No 18, Mambilla Street, off Udi Hills Street, Maitama; a flat at Palm Beach estate, Dubai; and another property at 29, Kingsway, Leeds in the United Kingdom. The official could not however ascertain the address of the Chelsea property that Ribadu allegedly bought “, read a quote from the online edition of Daily Trust. Other sins of Ribadu include the non-declaration of his assets and the questionable disposal of items confiscated from criminals, etc.
These are serious accusations. What is now assuming the profile of a huge scandal involving the former EFCC chairperson must not be swept under the carpet. The various Nigeria-related media outfits, whether they are based in our dear fatherland or are in the diaspora, should not be seen as having sacred cows in the struggle to expose corrupt activities involving the country’s government officials. The more shrill ones in particular cannot afford to downplay the gravity of this unfolding drama. As for the likes of Gani Fawehinmi and his cast of fellow pro-Ribadu yes-men, they should by now be asking for the head of their idol . Our hearts bleed for Nigeria.
I’d like to end this analysis by touching on the reported removal of Nuhu Ribadu last Saturday from the graduation ceremony at the NIPSS, Kuru. The rather clumsy way the Yar'Adua regime has handled this needless’ wahala’ is a potent statement about the competence (or lack of it) of the people at the presidency. That the federal government is said to have ordered that Nuhu Ribadu's NIPSS certificate be given to him should only be seen as part of a process of doing things the right way. The next step will consist of challenging Ribadu’s ill-advised court case against the government. This will hopefully be followed by his firing from the police force. Nuhu Ribadu’s insubordination and mischief are bad for the force. The Yar’Adua administration should not be seen as encouraging indiscipline within the ranks of our uniformed men and women. The man’s dismissal is long overdue.