I Didn't Orchestrate Ribadu's Removal As EFCC Boss - James IboriFormer Delta state governor, James Ibori, has denied having a hand in former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Nuhu Ribadu’s removal from office in 2007.
Ibori was reacting to a report published by online news medium, Premium Times, which sought to establish that the Nigerian Senate and the State Security Service (SSS) may have concocted lies in refusing acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu’s nomination as substantive head of the agency.
In a statement signed by Tony Eluemunor, head of Ibori’s media office, the former Delta state governor accused Premium Times of spreading bare-faced lies and urged journalists to stop maligning him, reports Vanguard.
Specifically reacting to the medium’s claims that “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,” Ibori’s spokesman wrote:
“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: Well, Obasanjo has not told me, and as far as the presidency is concerned, I have my candidate for president, and that is El-Rufai.
“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”
Ibori added: “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.”
The former governor who is presently serving a jail term in the United Kingdom, equally urged the public to disregard reports insinuating he would return to Nigeria this December.