The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, has described a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mike Okiro, as a “shameless liar,” for denying that a former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, helped him to secure his appointment as the nation’s number one cop.
Mr. Ribadu, in a statement by his media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, argued that “If Okiro is now denying this in public, there is no way he can deny this open secret to a number of people including an influential governor from the North-Central then, and a couple of other people who helped facilitate his selection by Ibori.”
He said it was the same “shameless method of desperate lobbying” that the former IGP, whom he described as “a chronic political jobber and sycophant of the first order”, used in securing appointments as Chief Security Officer to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and later as Chairman of the Police Service Commission, PSC.
The former EFCC boss, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, had told a London court that Mr. Ibori was instrumental to Mr. Okiro’s appointment as IGP, a claim Mr. Okiro debunked, accusing the former EFCC boss of falsehood.
Mr. Ribadu said his attention was “drawn to the shameless lies a former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro recklessly spewed to the media yesterday.
“The cause of Mr. Okiro’s anger, the statement, in a London court, by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu that James Ibori was instrumental to his emergence as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) needs no further equivocation as it was an open secret to everybody in the government circle then.”
On the allegation that he (Ribadu) wanted to be the IGP, Mr. Ribadu, said it was a proof that Mr. Okiro was a perennial peddler of falsehood.
According to the statement, the former EFCC chairman’s focus then, was consolidating on his efforts at the Commission, especially at a time he was working on high-profile cases, including that of Mr. Ibori.
It said, “The assertion by Okiro that Ribadu wanted to be the IGP further underlines the former IGP as a perennial peddler of falsehood. The truth is Nuhu Ribadu’s focus then was consolidating on his modest efforts at the EFCC, especially at a time when he was working on high-profile cases, including that of Okiro’s godfather, James Ibori.
“We therefore challenge Okiro to name those people he called Ribadu’s friends that narrated the fictitious story of Ribadu’s interest in becoming the IGP to him,” he said.
According to the statement, Mr. Ribadu regretted that the former IGP, attempted to rewrite the well-known and widely documented assassination attempts on him (Ribadu), saying he (Okiro) was now trying to paint himself in another colour after all the scheming he orchestrated.
“The highest distortion in Okiro’s statement, however, is his attempt to rewrite the well-known and widely documented assassination attempts on the former EFCC chairman, and Okiro’s hands in it all. It is ridiculous that Okiro is now desperately trying to paint himself in another colour after all the schemings he orchestrated.
“It beats our imagination that Okiro would want a Nuhu Ribadu he was fighting to destroy to report those incidences to him. It would have been a case of having a culprit to be a judge in his own case.
“At the time, the trio of Michael Aondoakaa, the former Attorney General of the Federation, Okiro and Mrs. Farida Waziri, the former EFCC chairman, had created a hell out of the world for Ribadu.
“The only sensible thing to do was to avoid these characters and seek solace somewhere else. This notwithstanding, it is a blatant lie that Okiro telephoned Ribadu “several times” but that he did not answer his calls.
“What Ribadu and other Nigerians easily recall was an elated Okiro rushing to address the press to deny something he knew nothing about. The bullet-riddled car Ribadu drove during that unfortunate life threatening incident is still there, if Okiro or any other person would want a further proof.”
On the issue of the withdrawal of Mr. Ribadu’s personal security, the statement said, “If Okiro is suffering from selective amnesia, let him be reminded that that was exactly what he did.
“He also redeployed Ibrahim Lamorde out of the EFCC to Bauchi State Police Command as Area Commander in Ningi. He did the same thing to other top EFCC operatives that Nigeria spent a fortune to train as investigators. One of them suspected to be too close to Mr. Ribadu was even locked up for months,” the statement added.
Mr. Ribadu reminded Mr. Okiro that he (Okiro) was dancing on the naked in the gallery because of his corruption credentials.
“As for Okiro’s corruption credentials, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu would like to alert the retired IGP that he is dancing naked in the gallery as his nasty record is something known to many.
“A man who clearly reeks of corruption, is Okiro denying that he is corrupt when we all know he cannot account for the source of the wealth he used in building a shopping mall in Jabi, a hotel with casino in Lugbe and a private school, all in Abuja? This is not to mention his housing estates in Lagos and Port Harcourt, while he was still serving in the police.
“If a public servant, one tasked with the responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerians and instilling discipline in the police, managed to amass such wealth, what gut does he have to talk of corruption?
“It is a national tragedy that a man of such flawed character has now been appointed to head an important institution like the Police Service Commission. May God rescue Nigeria!”