Reno Omokri, former senior special assistant to the president on new media, has accused Farida Waziri, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of having a history of telling lies against ex-presidents.
Omokri said this in reaction to the allegation of Waziri that her refusal to back down from the probe of one of the masterminds of the fuel subsidy scam earned her a dismissal by Jonathan.
She said Jonathan did her a favour by showing her the way out of the commission, adding that if she had not been sacked, she would have been traumatised by now, given the ongoing revelation of alleged grand corruption that took place under Jonathan’s administration.
She spoke to journalists in Lagos during the weekend.
But Omokri dismissed her, saying the anti-graft czar was looking for a way to get into the good books of the current administration.
“It is understandable that when there is a new government in power, people would want to ingratiate themselves to the new administration and one of the easiest way to do this is by demonizing the previous government,” Omokri’s statement read.
“After she was appointed, Mrs. Farida Waziri made some uncomplimentary remarks against former President Olusegun Obasanjo because he said “I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu (Farida Waziri) was not the right person for that job”.
Omokri also said after the sack of Waziri, Nigeria made its highest improvements in the annual Corruption Perception Index.
The statement in full:
My attention has been drawn to comments made by Farida Waziri to the effect that she was removed as Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Waziri also said that she received a call from Aso Rock over this case which instructed her to drop her investigations.
It is understandable that when there is a new government in power, people would want to ingratiate themselves to the new administration and one of the easiest way to do this is by demonizing the previous government.
Nigerians will remember that Mrs. Farida Waziri was appointed as the chairperson of the EFCC by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua in May 2008 under very controversial circumstances after the unceremonious removal of the pioneer Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.
After she was appointed, Mrs. Farida Waziri made some uncomplimentary remarks against former President Olusegun Obasanjo because he said “I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu (Farida Waziri) was not the right person for that job”.
In response to that statement, Mrs. Farida Waziri described ex-President Obasanjo as a man known for “speaking in a manner that betrays his status as an elder statesman”. She also accused President Obasanjo of ‘mischief’.
Farida Waziri made those comments to ingratiate herself to the then administration and her accusations against former President Obasanjo were denied.
Farida Waziri also accused her predecessor, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, of being used by former President Obasanjo “to push the aborted third term agenda”. And claimed to have been Mr. Ribadu’s instructor at the Police Academy.
Again, her comments were found to be untrue and Malam Ribadu released a statement then and said as follows;
“This is a unclad lie that she keeps flaunting to seek undue relevance and validate her own appointment. At no time in my career did I work under the same section or unit as her. In fact, contrary to the Waziri’s claim that she ‘trained’ me, it was I that actually lectured her and others, on fraud investigation and prosecution, when she was newly posted as Head of Special Fraud Unit even though she was my senior in rank”
That Mrs. Farida Waziri has a history of telling lies against former Presidents in order to ingratiate herself to the serving President is an established fact and old habits die hard.
Former President Jonathan never called Farida Waziri from the Aso Rock Presidential Villa or any State House at any given time, neither did he ask her to drop or take up any investigation.
Let it be known that there is no statute of limitations on corruption cases and if Mrs. Farida Waziri has any evidence that she was asked to drop any cases of corruption, she is challenged to show proof of such.
Former President Jonathan fired Mrs. Farida Waziri for reasons he would choose not to disclose publicly for now, but Nigerians may want to remember that Nigeria continued to sink in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index during Mrs. Waziri’s tenure at the EFCC.
Things got so bad at her last year at the EFCC (2011) that we moved from 134 in 2010 to 143 in 2011 which represented a backward movement of 9 points. Which God fearing leader would leave a person responsible for such retrogression as the head of a sensitive institution as the EFCC.
It would also be recalled that the transparency website, Wikileaks, exposed that both the US Federal Bureau of Investigations and the London Metropolitan Police refuses to cooperate with the EFCC under Farida Waziri because of doubts they had about her credibility. Those Wikileaks cables are still publicly available.
However, after the sack of Mrs. Waziri in 2011, Nigeria made her highest improvements in the annual Corruption Perception Index till date in 2014 when we moved eighth places from 144 to 136, so in essence the facts speak for themselves.
Former President Jonathan is proud to have been the President under whom Nigeria made her best improvement in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International. That is a fact. And so he is not concerned about the opinion of Farida Waziri or other persons as opinions cannot overthrow facts.