In Sympathy with Ribadu By Chido Onumah

Chido Onumah
Columnist: 
Chido Onumah

I sympathize with Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, ex-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and more recently Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF). It is often said that once bitten twice shy. That best describes the situation Ribadu found himself a week ago during the submission of his committee’s report to the president.

 

Nine months ago when the public awoke to the surprise appointment of Nuhu Ribadu to head the PRSTF, it set tongues wagging. Many Nigerians had questioned the wisdom in accepting the job. The objection ranged from the fact that the committee was set up by the Minister of Petroleum Resources (who is deeply enmeshed in the controversy that dogs the oil sector) and not the president, to the fact that for an administration with a predilection for committees, this may just be another  committee. The cynics had argued that it was an attempt to shore up the government’s integrity deficit and boost its anti-corruption credentials. 

 

I was one of those who had some reservations about Ribadu’s appointment, but  I did not make my feeling public. Even though I had worked with him closely at the EFCC and much later during his presidential campaign, I didn’t attempt to discuss his new job with him. I assumed that as a man of strong convictions, he had his reason for accepting the job. 

 

I met Ribadu in late August. Prior to that meeting, we had not seen for eight months since the public presentation of my book, Time to Reclaim Nigeria, in Abuja, on December 15, 2011, which meant there was a lot of catching up to do. Part of our discussion centred on his committee’s work. He expressed his frustration and explained some of the problems his committee encountered. He hinted about the pecuniary influence from oil “stakeholders” and the possibility of divided allegiance of some members of the committee.

 

Listening to him, I got a feeling that his was a committee primed to fail. I saw a man tormented by betrayal, yet upbeat. What was of interest to him was what to do to curb the monumental fraud his committee had discovered in the oil industry. He sounded to me like someone who knew the inevitable outcome of the report, but wanted to give the administration the benefit of the doubt.  

 

Looking back, I am not sure he knew or felt at the time of our meeting that the government was contemptuous enough to undermine the report of a committee it set up. I left him and looked forward to the submission of his committee’s report. The submission of the report turned into a fiasco, predictably so. So much has been written about the events surrounding the presentation of the PRSTF report to President Jonathan on November 2. What is missing in the narrative is the complicity of the Presidency, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and major oil multi-nationals in the effort to scuttle the work of the PRSTF. 

 

For a man who promised to do things differently, President Jonathan is awfully predictable. Last week, as the nation waited patiently for the submission of the PRSTF report, I had noted that we would be treated to the same rhetoric that has become the hallmark of the Jonathan administration. It was exactly what happened; except that this time, the president conspired to embarrass himself and the entire nation.  

 

When Reuters first put the PRSTF report in the public domain a little over two weeks ago, the Presidency promised that there was no attempt to “cover up” the findings of the committee. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, said a committee had been given ten days to look at the report and make some “input”. The minister had received the report more than a month earlier, but decided to sit on it. 

 

So what happened? Here is my take: I think the government was caught in a bind, it panicked and the result was the embarrassing situation that played itself out on November 2. The Presidency, it seemed, had been wondering what to do with the PRSTF report since August when it was submitted to the Minister of Petroleum Resources. A minority report by members who weren’t “comfortable” with the main report may have been an option. But once the report became public, it changed everything. Enter Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otti. 

 

It is instructive that the report the Minister of Petroleum Resources promised would be ready in ten days was not presented to the president as expected. Instead, Oronsaye and Otti made themselves available or were recruited to wreck the final report submitted to the president. Their only reason: “the process adopted by the committee in arriving at its report was flawed”.

 

Oronsaye’s verbal diarrhea at the submission of the PRSTF report could only have come from a man who had the backing of the Presidency. “What I am saying is that the President has said come and submit the report, so what, if we are not ready, we are not ready,” Oronsaye asserted confidently and condescendingly. “When I say so what, the President has spoken, we should be man enough to tell the President that we are not ready. That is the reason why you are handing over a report that is not process driven”. 

 

Two things are at play here. One, only a man that is incredibly reckless would speak the way Oronsaye spoke before the president. I don’t think Oronsaye is a reckless man considering he is a career civil servant who rose to become the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. The only other thing is that his comments were carefully scripted and contrived. This was evident when he offered the coup-de-grace in these words: “I don’t know what the report contains. Therefore, in my view, I do not think the report should be accepted at this time, I challenge any member of this committee to take me on”.

 

Expectedly, Ribadu, the chairman of the committee, took him on. As it turned out, Oronsaye and Otti, barely participated in the committee’s work. According to Ribadu, “He (Oronsaye) was not at the inauguration and he never participated in the deliberations of the committee.  The only time he came was when we wanted to start deliberations on recovery and he came on behalf of one company, Addax Petroleum, which is owing $1.5 billion. That was the only time he came. In fact, he scuttled the payment of the $1.5 billion”. 

 

Whether it was for financial gains or compensation for their appointments while serving as members of the PRSTF -- Oronsaye became a member of the board of the NNPC and Otti became a director in NNPC -- both Oronsaye and Otti have written their name in infamy. So long as their sense of propriety did not detect a conflict of interest and instruct resignation from the committee so long will they remain on the wrong side of history. They sold their conscience and mortgaged the future of their children for lucre. 

 

President Jonathan, in his characteristic tepid response to official sleaze,  “urged Nigerians not to be distracted by the small disagreement, but to focus on the subject matter of the committee which is the sanitization of the Petroleum Sector for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians”. The president said he was “not surprised there are disagreement between the members of the committee on the Petroleum Revenue Task Force. It is about money. There are some lapses and probably not everyone agreed”. He advised any member of the PRSTF “who had a contrary opinion from those expressed in the report to submit his opinion to him through his chief of staff or the Minister of Petroleum Resources”.

 

Clearly, we have heard the last of the PRSTF report, going by the president’s dismissive response. Like Ribadu, I weep for Nigeria!

conumah@hotmail.com 

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ribadu ribadu ribadu where is yr oil block-with buhari

When Ribadu was the chairman of EFCC, a petition was sent to him concerning firms operating in the oil industry which has been dodging the payment of tax to d FGN. That report which was prepared and sent to him by 9jas operating in the oil sector, never saw the light of the day. The amount involved in the fraud runs into several billions of Naira. Obj was the oil minister in his own government then. But Chief Saint Ribadu of ACN, did nothing about the said petition. He treated it the same way he handled the case of corruption he leveled against Tinubu his master. I challenge Ribadu to go public with the names of oil marketers whom he discovered to have defrauded the FGN. And for him to also list for publication, the oil firms that cheated the FGN in the payment of of tax-he can even publish such on his web site-for the world to see-I tell u Ribadu will never be able to do any such thing. Cause he is no different from the thieves milking the SS dry in the oil dector-animal

why did late Yara Adua seize ribadus oil block?

When Ribadu was the chairman of EFCC, a petition was sent to him concerning firms operating in the oil industry which has been dodging the payment of tax to d FGN. That report which was prepared and sent to him by 9jas operating in the oil sector, never saw the light of the day. The amount involved in the fraud runs into several billions of Naira. Obj was the oil minister in his own government then. But Chief Saint Ribadu of ACN, did nothing about the said petition. He treated it the same way he handled the case of corruption he leveled against Tinubu his master. I challenge Ribadu to go public with the names of oil marketers whom he discovered to have defrauded the FGN. And for him to also list for publication, the oil firms that cheated the FGN in the payment of of tax-he can even publish such on his web site-for the world to see-I tell u Ribadu will never be able to do any such thing. Cause he is no different from the thieves milking the SS dry in the oil dector-animal

geobbel onumah, RIBADU IS A LIAR-and a hard core 419ner

How can a man like ribadu who lied to the nation that late minister of defence in the first republic, alhaji ribadu was his father. It later turned out to be a lie! Onumah, u failed woefully to defend ribadu-rather you sold him cheaply to the vultures and his masters in the oil marketing business. Oti did not at any time disagree with Ribadu on the CONTENT of the report. What the duo did, was to query the process and the watery figures he inserted in d report. So what is wrong with that? This is a democracy and not a military govt headed by Buhari, Ibb or an abacha. It was people like the writer who alleged GEJ bribed Ribadu, with the appointment when it was first announced. The question I have always asked small time public relation consultants like Onumah, is whether the fuel scam introduced by IBB 25 yrs ago, benefited the poverty ridden souls from the ethnic group of the president in d SS, in any way? Did Ribadu himself not acquire an oil block from OBJ? GEOBBEL

Did OBJ not dash Ribadu an oil block

How can a man like ribadu who lied to the nation that late minister of defence in the first republic, alhaji ribadu was his father. It later turned out to be a lie! Onumah, u failed woefully to defend ribadu-rather you sold him cheaply to the vultures and his masters in the oil marketing business. Oti did not at any time disagree with Ribadu on the CONTENT of the report. What the duo did, was to query the process and the watery figures he inserted in d report. So what is wrong with that? This is a democracy and not a military govt headed by Buhari, Ibb or an abacha. It was people like the writer who alleged GEJ bribed Ribadu, with the appointment when it was first announced. The question I have always asked small time public relation consultants like Onumah, is whether the fuel scam introduced by IBB 25 yrs ago, benefited the poverty ridden souls from the ethnic group of the president in d SS, in any way? Did Ribadu himself not acquire an oil block from OBJ?

RIBADU IS THE MOST ENLIGHTENED MAN FROM NORTH

Ribadu is destinied Man, but the only set back he will meet is 2015 presidential race. If he can learn from President Putin of Russia to accept the slot of VP as Ibo Woman will be Nigeria next president come 2015. I will not compromized 2015 no matter how dear the person is to me. I have to give Nigerians their 1st mother as a president. 2015 will settle a lot of issues in Nigeria. If Nigeria will be Israel after King Solomon when Samaria was formed we shall know, but 2015 will determins the right way for Nigerians. There will be many threat for secessions like 1966 but they will all be clamped down by power of Mother Christ. There will no blood shed because the power of blood sucker Gods were uprooted.

Ribadu is Too Ambitious

Ribadu is an Ambitious man and will bow to any God in the name of serving the fatherland. There is time for everything. Because you served as EFCC chairman does not qualify you for Presidency. You are not qualified yet. Your actions proved that you are good man but lacking in wisdom.

Stop this your ambition. It will totally destroy you.

Jonathan, Diezani and Otti are CORRUPTION personified! (4)

Chido, it is not because of the services of Otti and Oronsaye in PRSTF that they were appointed into NNPC Board. That is very pedestrian thinking. Let me tell Nigerians who do not know this. ORONSAYE AND OTTI are Jonathan's two BEST FRIENDS. I repeat ad nausea, OTTI is not an ACCOUNTANT and was neither a FINANCE MANAGER for one day nor worked in the oil and gas industry. Yet he was appointed the GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (ACCOUNTS AND FINANCE) of NNPC. Chido, can you rationalize this appointment, even for Nigeria of the 1960s?

From what Otti told me, Jonathan is out to amass as much wealth as the "abokis", IBB and Abacha, knowing full well this is his ONLY opportunity before political power goes back to the North in 2015. Forget his posturing that he is seemingly interested in 2015. Na shakara oloje!

I have warned Nigerians that by the time Ebele, Diezani and Otti finish with NNPC's accounts and hand cooked books to Okonjo-Iweala, the treasury would be half full or half empty!

Jonathan, Diezani and Otti are CORRUPTION personified! (3)

Otti can keep his loot in Nigeria where he can spend N450 million to purchase a plot of land. However, if he attempts to move it around the world, let me advise him to look for other couriers beyond his wife, CHINYERE, their children, BENSON, PAMELA AND BEVERLEY; and his mistresses, DR. JOY UGW..., the ophthalmologist and MS. KATE EK., ex staff of NNPC's Crude Oil Marketing Division.

Jonathan was justifying the continuation of Otti and Oronsaye in the Ribadu Committee after they were appointed into NNPC Board. I believe that he had studied animal behaviour to PH.D level that it has become difficult for him to comprehend that in human bevaiour, it constitutes an aberration - a conflict of interest - to have employees or board members of a company sit in a committee set up to investigate and audit the administration of the same company. This mindset that has been displayed repeatedly is one reason Jonathan is dangerous a President. The man simply cannot define CORRUPTION.

Jonathan, Diezani and Otti are CORRUPTION personified! (2)

With part of the loot, the man, Otti, purchased a house at GRA Port Harcourt and built two petrol stations, one at PH and the other at Enugu as well as a duplex at Owerri. Then, he built a bungalow for his family at Ajalli. That has since given way because in 2011 he embarked on construction of a mansion at Ajalli.

I will update SR readers that I am still monitoring Otti's loot garnered in Ebele's govt together with those of Ebele, Diezani and Oronsaye. The challenges with the trio is that they have latitude of deploying many cronies and proxies quite unknown to even their family members. For Diezani, I know her family members including her step children and their wives and husbands, but she can use cronies outside the group.

Jonathan, Diezani and Otti are CORRUPTION personified! (1)

Chido, thank you for this composition although you did not give much thought to some of your conclusions. I do not know what informs columnists to write as if they do not read blogs or posts of SR informed readers . You wrote: "...both Oronsaye and Otti have written their names in infamy." Didn't you read my blog on SR when I commented that Otti was well-known to have doodled INEC's books/accounts during the time his village kin, Humphrey Nwosu, was Chairman of INEC? You cannot talk to two Ajalli natives about it without one giving you a full gist of the melodrama between them.

Otti and Nwosu were sworn enemies that our mutual friends intervened to ensure peace after many years of bickering between them. Otti pocketed over US$3 million INEC's money. With US$1 million he bought 4 houses in Maplewood and South Orange, New Jersey, USA. He later sold two of them but has since added two more in the same municipalities.

Ribadu,Orosonya,Govt & co travellers.

In the land where graft is prince, who will smear the crown?. By now we should know that conspiracy is the ploy of goverment to the leap over the pit they never wanted to fall in being the diggers. When the reps presented their report it turned out a drama, now the Ribadu report it also turned out a drama. Who is fooling who. Ribadu should know better.Guess the next line of action ?...AGF will give the final rulling. FULL STOP.

How Stupid

You are wrong. Part of what constitute government and governance is "the us" outside of it to keep looking albeit critically to find and see loopholes and talk as if we would have done better. What you are insinuating from your assertion is that we keep mute even in the face of arrant disregard to common sense. No. We would talk. That's part of our roles as the governed.

Corruption And Nigeria: Ribadu Report

Godliness makes a nation great; but sin is a disgrace to any nation. Proverbs 14:34(NLT)

Allow Sleeping Umbrella to

Please, allow sleeping umbrella to lie down quietly. she is in prayer session. Do not disturb or distract, please.

Was Ribadu complicit or is it

Was Ribadu complicit or is it a case of his naivety? When Ribadu accepted to serve in a committee set up by the Minister of Petroleum, I sensed that something must be amiss with Ribadu himself. I will not give him benefit of the doubt, i think he is actually part of the scheme to hoodwink Nigerians. Forget all those posturings.

This Warped Narrative!!

This warped narrative that those in govt are EVIL and always mean BAD for the country while those out of govt (the likes Chido Onumah) means well and are saints is SENSELESS and STUPID. How I wish it was possible to deploy the likes of Chido Onumah and other 'saints' to a parallel govt to see how they'll perform. This us (those outside govt) vs them (those outside govt) mentality will take us no where. You and I contribute to the problem with Nigeria and MUST be part of the solution. In being part of the solution, we must begin with ourselves by changing our ways and DOING THE RIGHT THING AT ALL TIMES

Madam Umbrella Where are You?

Where is Madam Umbrella, she has been quiet for a while. Please blow one grammar for your fellow widowers. Ever since you came back from Germany, you seem to have disappeared. We miss you!

Gullible Ribadu

Prior to the 2011 Presidential elections, I saw the hand writing on the wall that Ribadu would be brought into the race by the Presidency nay PDP to divide the North against Buhari. As good as it was that Ribadu was "pardoned" and his rank restored, it is instructive to note that Ribadu lacked the political base to run for any elective post in the land. To make matters worse, he was hobnobbing with ACN a party not known to have National interest or structure. Ribadu's naivety made him run for the Presidency and was sacrificed at the ned of the day. GEJ is the beneficiary in all this. The Ribadu pardon was a political scorecard. I am not sure if Ribadu didn't know of the grand scheme to use him. Accepting to serve under the GEJ administration known for unparalled double-speak and flip-flopping is a major minus for Ribadu.

Very good observation!

Chido, that was a very good observation you made here. Yes, Ribadu should have our sympathy to the extent that he had found himself in the proverbial lion's den. Instructively, Ribadu understood this. But from the assertions of Okupe, the president's aide, we could gather that Ribadu stated that the nitty-gritty of his findings needed to be confirmed. Secondly, many of the actors whose actions were being investigated were never invited by the Ribadu Committee to testify. And, finally, Ribadu himself faced some detractors within the committee(Oronsanye et al.). If all these were true, then it could be concluded that Ribadu, by negligence, must have done a shoddy job and thus had played easily into the hands of his opponents! How could a lawyer of Ribadu's standing submit a report that did not contain testimonies of some people he was meant to interview? On those scores and if all the above are true, then Ribadu's report was inconclusive.

Presidential Household of the Corrupt

Some Nigerians are so comfortable with sleaze now that it doesn't matter where they express their madness. It is very true that the corrupt(Orosanye) are patted on the back at the presidency. On the other hand the upright (Ribadu) are scorned and condemned for impertinence.

Ribadu report

The whole thing is a script that was written by the govt and it all ended as planned. Nothing good can come out of the report. We are still backward in Nigeria when it comes to implementation of commitee recommendations on issues raised. The CABAL will always find their way to discredit any report that is not in their favour. Nigeria is like a playstation.. Everything that happens around us is a drama. I dont believe in the PROJECT CALLED NIGERIA.

Don't weep for Nigeria, It is not a country but a continent

Chido, don't weep for Nigeria, It is not a country but a continent.

Jonathan for LIFE........Jona is not a cowardly Y...ba man

Jona is right. Move on my Presido, what you are doing is what the Hausa fulani nd their Yoruba surrogates did and held on cumulatively to power for about forty years. You must follow the tactics. I hail your courage. Whether BH or Tinubu bows to Buhari or Farouk stufs my SS oi money under his cap or adenuga and IBB walk freely after stealing the SS oil money money, just move on. Dont give a damn about anybody. You are our President and you will get a deserved second term.

...anyone who is not happy with that can go to hell. There is still space in hell for people.

Verily verily I say unto you, Nigeria is not a country but a continent. Break up NOW!!

Long live the republic of the SS & SE

Ribadu Report

Thank you very much my brother. Even the Government spokesman – Dr. Reuben Abatti has branded the report as merely a Recommendation. What a shame

RIBADU REMAINS AN "OASIS" IN THE "DESERT" OF CORRUPTION

Nuhu Ribadu has a reputation which flies at a tangent with that of the mainstream Nigerian establishment.Mr Ribadu's incorruptible nature was manifest in his refusal of a $15,000,000 bribe,he reported the politician and the money was deposited at the CBN.This singular act distinguishes Mr Ribadu from the rest,he is not known to be a millionaire and for a person who has held his position in the Nigerian public service,that is rare.
President Jonathan has two clear options here,he has a chance to make a clear break and change course or retain and nourish the corruption culture.The President must realise that Nigerians and indeed the whole civilised world are watching,Mr Ribadu has done his duty once more.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor!

Proverbs 22

King James Version (KJV)

1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

2 The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.

3 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.

16 He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

23 For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

are u surprised

Is anyone surprised?then that person is a foreigner.Nothing
Good can come out of GEJ.just imagine the way these men
Started talking back at themselves,right on the presence
Of the President.GEJ. Has lost it.
Ribadu is a fool for accepting the job. Offer in the first
Place .and let's fold our arms and watch whathappens next.
ABSOLUTE NOTHiNG !!!!

Ribadu messed up his job.

Ribadu has always shows himself as somebody lacking in wisdom.He has more questions to answer than anybody else in that committee with the confusion that surrounds that report. It shows Ribadu's lack of leadership quality and because Diezani was sitting upon the report is it why he rushed to leak the report to the media? That was how he rushed to indict governors before the senate.Ribadu has since squandered his perceived goodwill with his association with Tinubu and I really do not know why he accepted the appointment from Jonathan.For whatever it is he really messed up this assignment given to him. Ribadu is not sincere and he knows it.

Tired!

Sometimes, I just wonder if Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is okay. His non-chanlant attitude is so repulsive, and sickening honestly. They're all stealing with impunity, it's amazing. They just don't give a damn! What are we waiting for? Why do we let them get away with so much atrocities Biko? Tired of Nigerians and their siddon look attitude honestly. We're being held to ransom by a selected few, and we are sooo fine with it. Na wa oh!

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