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Ribadu says life no longer in danger, wants to serve

By  Ifeanyi Okolie, with Agency reports
FORMER boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC, Malam  Nuhu Ribadu, Tuesday, said he was ready to return home after over a year in exile, and would be willing to serve under Acting President Goodluck Jonathan if asked.

This came as the Federal Government, last week, dropped a legal case against him, potentially paving the way for his return to help Jonathan fight graft.

Ribadu told Reuters in a telephone interview from Washington: “Of course, I would like to come back, but it was difficult because my life was threatened. The threat is now gone. I believe it is time for me to come back.”

Ribadu won international praise for his arrests of suspects and seizures of assets as the first chief of EFCC, but he also made enemies for pursuing cases against some powerful state governors.

He was fired in 2007 soon after President Umaru Yar’Adua took power, and fled the country for Britain and the United States in January 2009, saying his life was in danger.

Ribadu said, however, that he had not spoken directly with Jonathan, and has not been offered a specific government position.

He, however, stressed that he would not return to EFCC or the police as he believed he had been unfairly dismissed by both agencies.

Ribadu’s claim on assets’sale fraudulent, says EFCC

Meantime, EFCC has described a statement credited to Ribadu’s lawyer, Mr. Charles Musa, on the disposal of assets of convicted persons, as insincere and fraudulent.

In a reaction to claims that the present EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, supervised the sale of the assets of former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha and those of Mr. Emmanuel Nwude, the commission said the lawyer was being economical with the truth.

EFCC said though it was not aware of how the report being disputed by Musa got to the media, some of the facts in the media reports were part of the findings of a committee which had in the first quarter of 2009 worked on the disposal of assets of convicted persons.

According to the commission, Musa lied in his statement when he claimed that Ribadu only investigated and prosecuted Alamieyeseigha and Nwude’s matters while Waziri sold their assets.

It asked, the question then is, was Waziri the EFCC chairman in 2006 when Alamieyeseigha and Nwude’s assets were sold in breach of EFCC Establishment Act and extant Financial Regulations, or was it Waziri that supervised how the proceeds were diverted then?


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