OFFICIAL 1.85 NGN/
– Nuhu Ribadu has denied that he was used by Olusegun Obasanjo for his own gain
– The former EFCC chairman says the corruption allegation concerning the ex-president’s third term bid can be probed
– He commended the work the anti-graft agency was doing
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has hinted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may still probe the alleged bribery by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to secure a third term agenda bid. There was allegation that the former president had bribed some top government officials in a bid to secure a third term bid but Ribadu who served as the chairman of the EFCC said the allegations were weak.
Nuhu Ribadu, In an interview with The Punch, Ribadu who recently returned to the All Progressives Congress said people were only making noise because of the good work the EFCC did while he was in charge.
He said: “You cannot stop people from complaining especially if they were victims of your work but who are those people? Where are they? I need to know them. For over a decade, I have been making the same noise. Let people come and tell me that while I was working, I did this or that to pander to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo and I will reply. As of the time we did the work, even though it was a PDP government, 90 per cent of those we charged to court were PDP members. I don’t think they were all enemies of the president. “Most of the works we did were transparent and were open for all to see. We had evidences which we took to court.
How, for God’s sake, can anyone say all the works we did were because of this and that? We did not hide anything from the public. People who tried but failed to corrupt or blackmail someone, would always say something; it is left for Nigerians to look at it. There is nowhere in the world that you will fight corruption that people will not complain. They will always look for a reason to say something. In our own case, it was exceptional because most of them were PDP members and they were close to the president.
“In the first instance, third term did not work. There was no law that was passed. In dealing with corruption cases, the first thing to look at is what is the motivation? Was the act carried out? Was it successful? From there you build your case.
The third term did not work for us to say this or that person was bribed and that’s why they passed the law or allowed third term. When you talk of third term’s money, first and foremost, as a law enforcement agency you have to first look at what is going on: did something happen that warrants you to say a crime has been committed? If something happened behind the scenes under the cover of darkness, how on earth can you build a case on that? How many things are happening right now that you don’t know about? We took steps; we stopped money in our banks when we became suspicious. Some of the former governors that we charged to court, for example, the governor of Jigawa (Saminu Turaki), had something to do with that.
“There were a couple of other cases that I was building before I was removed from the EFCC. The money was put in preparation for it (third term) but we stopped it. We went after the bankers and blocked accounts even before anything happened. I hope that those who said they were given money will come out and give details so that people will be prosecuted for it. This will help law enforcement agents to do their work; criminal cases don’t have time limits.”