NUHU Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was once poisoned in the course of his duties as anti-corruption czar. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Obasanjo disclosed this at an international forum on Third Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday, June 10.
Obasanjo said the poisoning of Ribadu caused a lot of concern in many quarters. The former president did not go into details of the incident, but remarked: “It was a matter of life and death.”
He also revealed that Ribadu created enemies for him because of the ruthlessness with which he carried out his responsibilities of tackling corruption in Nigeria.
Obasanjo, who spoke following a presentation on ‘Illicit Financial Flow and Governance of Natural Resources’ by Ribadu said he had known from experience that the fight against corruption would attract a lot of enemies. In carrying out his job the former president disclosed that Ribadu took on a lot of highly connected people in his fight against corruption.
Obasanjo, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said once Ribadu was appointed, he gave him a free hand and that Ribadu investigated him, his late wife and several persons close to him at that time.
He also narrated a story of how a serving minister, who was his senior in secondary school, was indicted and prosecuted by the EFCC, adding that when the minister was found wanting, “there was no issue of seniority again.”
On leadership, Obasanjo, who is also the chairperson of the Tana Forum, re-echoed Ribadu’s submission that at the centre of anti-corruption fight there was the need for willing political leadership at the highest level.
He, however, added that the leader also needs relevant legislations to work with, narrating his experience with the bill establishing ICPC which, he said, was whittled down by lawmakers, who felt they could be victims of the law.
In his remarks, Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister of Ethiopia, thanked Ribadu for his presentation, which, he said highlighted many good things about Nigeria different from what was presented in the media.
In his presentation, Ribadu offered measures African countries could take to tackle illicit financial flow and repatriate money already illegally taken out of the African countries. Ribadu said what Africa needed was honest and committed leaders who would set examples with themselves by eschewing corruption and close avenues of illicit financial flow.
— Jun 22, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT