A number of Nigerian organizations based in the United States of America and Canada have condemned the federal Government over the removal of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the anti corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The groups, Egbe Omo Yoruba, Zumunta and Worl Igbo Congress pleaded with President Umaru Yar’Adua to ensure that Ribadu’s replacement will receive his total support to fight corruption in the country.
“In order to demonstrate to all his true commitment to fighting corruption, coupled with a sincere support for his current war against corruption which is epitomised by Ribadu‘s led EFCC team, we call on the Presidency to override Mr. Okiro‘s ill advised action, sidelining Mallam Ribadu.” The statement said.
It continued, “Despite all the challenges and obstacles faced by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and his team of economic crime fighters at the EFCC, they have not wavered in their assigned responsibilities. His achievement during his short tenure as Executive Chairman of the EFCC are exemplary and numerous; he gave hope to Nigerians and the rest of the world that Nigeria is finally serious about fighting its world-renowned corruption problem.
“We understand that a tree does not make a forest and that a big deal should not be made about one person, but rather the concern should be over the maintenance of the integrity of the position itself. However, given the history of Nigeria and the numerous public attempts by powerful Nigerians who have violated their public trust, plus recent actions by the Attorney General of the Federation to undermine Mallam Ribadu’s work, we strongly urge his Excellency to repudiate this action as he did in the case of the Naira redenomination and prevent Mr. Okiro from sending Mallam Ribadu to a compulsory course at this time.
“We ask that this action which is being perceived as another ploy to ease Mallam Ribadu out of office, be delayed until the prosecution of most of his currently cases are under way, or for at least another year in order to give Mallam Ribadu time to properly hand over to his temporary replacement. Any lesser action would constitute a caving in to enemies of Nigeria, dirty politicians and others who see Mallam Ribadu’s continued presence as the EFCC Executive Chairman as a threat to their survival.
“We are also appealing to the legislators to constitutionally create among their first order of business this year, an independent counsel type of office for the EFCC with the latitude to investigate and prosecute any economic wrongdoer, free of interference from the executive or legislative branches.
“However, appropriate checks and balances including a transparent and proper process for the removal of the EFCC head should be built in. The tenure of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC should also overlap the general elections so that the work of the EFCC can continue independent of who is at the Presidency.
“In order to demonstrate to all his true commitment to fighting corruption coupled with a sincere support for his current war against corruption which is epitomized by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s lead EFCC team, we call on the Presidency to override Mr. Okiro’s ill advised action, sidelining Mallam Ribadu or that he assure the nation and the world that his replacement will receive the same unflinching support needed to fight corruption and make Nigeria great again.” It concluded.
The statement was signed by Mallam Salisu A. Abdullah, Zumunta President; Ichie Chibuzo E. Onwuchekwe, Chairman of the World Igbo Congress; and Adeola Odusanya, President of the Egbe Omo Yoruba in North America; among officials of three other groups.