THE Presidency appears to have shut its doors against the outgoing Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, with security operatives attached to the Presidential Villa denying him direct access to the seat of power.
Mallam Ribadu, in his first public reaction to his removal as EFCC boss, said last night that he was ready for the nine-month course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Plateau State.
However, the EFCC’s Director of Operations, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, and other police officers attached to the commission have shunned summons by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, for a meeting on the latest development in the anti-graft agency.
Several attempts by Mallam Ribadu to have direct access to the President in the last few days have been rebuffed by the President’s men who insist that his requests be channelled through the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Presidency sources told Vanguard yesterday that the thinking in the Villa was that Ribadu’s nomination for the NIPSS senior management course had been unduly politicised and was already assuming a blackmail dimension, hence the President had decided not to get involved.
The President’s Special Adviser on Communications, Mr Segun Adeniyi, could not be reached to comment on the issue yesterday.
Several calls to his phone lines were unsuccessful. Sources said the president who is an advocate of due process and believer in the rule of law no longer wants to entertain the issue of Mallam Ribadu being discussed with him.
“Since the issue is becoming a blackmail, the president is not ready to bulge. You knowthe president, he is one man that believes in doing things according to the rule of law and since the police authorities felt that Ribadu is due for training, he has to go,” sources said.
Investigation revealed that access by Mallam Ribadu to the president has been furtherrestrained with the president’s seal of approval for his course at NIPSS.