A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday said she was mocked when she lost her husband and daughter within one year.
She also said assassination attempts were made on her life as the EFCC chairperson but added that she was not deterred in the fight against graft.
Waziri spoke in Abuja during the public presentation of her memoir, ‘One Step Ahead-Life as a Spy, Detective and Anti-Graft Czar.’
The ex-EFCC boss said, “Along the way, there were assassination attempts, face-off with cranks and officials in foreign lands, thrust and parry with criminals and personal tragedies of losing loved ones, particularly having lost my beloved husband and daughter within a period of one year, yet my traducers did not think they should sympathise.
“Some of them mocked me, but I refused to be broken down; I kept my head high and today I am standing before you.
“My experiences might be personal and subjective, they are nonetheless and inevitably parts of the larger history of Nigeria. Hence, those accounts of my life are part and parcel of the Nigerian narrative.
“Today, I am rendering my account by presenting my mosaic experience – as a Special Branch operative, as pioneer head of the Special Fraud Unit, as a detective at CID, as Commissioner of Police, as a former chair of the EFCC, as wife of a former Nigeria’s ambassador to Turkey, and as a lawyer that sat through one of the stormy moments of this country and witnessed first-hand behind-the-scene parody of justice that was the aftermath of the so-called 1995 coup.”
At the event, the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah clashed with the Presidency over claims that President Muhammadu Buhari promised to make public declaration of his personal assets during campaigns for the 2015 general elections.
While the cleric accused Buhari of reneging on his promise to declare his assets publicly, the Presidency challenged him to provide evidence where the President made the pledge.
Kukah, represented by the Director of Communications in the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, Rev. Fr. Patrick Alumuku, said this in his lecture entitled, ‘Is corruption a biological necessity or political inventions?’ He also made a mockery of Nigerian leaders who protect themselves with immunity leaving the people vulnerable.
Kukah said, “Let me ask two or three questions. First, is it in the law that the chairman of the EFCC must be from the police and a Muslim from northern Nigeria?
“How is it that the President used Justice Onnoghen’s asset declaration form to prove his corruption and proceed to sack him, yet the President himself has not publicly declared his own assets as he promised during his campaign?”
But firing back, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, while reviewing the book, said there was never a promise by the President to make public the declaration of his assets, but had assured Nigerians of doing what the constitution required.
Adesina said, “In a private meeting with the President, one of the first questions I asked him was this promise about public declaration of assets, and then he (Buhari) asked me: ‘Can you please show me where that promise was ever made?’ and lo and behold, we searched everywhere, there was no place where the President ever said he would do a public declaration of his assets.
“So, Sir, can you tell Bishop Kukah that I challenge him to produce that promise by the President because the President stands on it till tomorrow that he never promised public declaration.”
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rauf Aregbesola, commended Waziri for putting her experience together as a platform for learning.
He said, “You must know that corruption is a major challenge of governance and development, which we must all seek to eliminate from our system. Our administration’s commitment to eradicating it has been unwavering and we shall unrelentingly pursue its eradication.
“We have made significant progress in loot recovered, leakages blocked and arrests and prosecution made. If the impact have not been too apparent to some observers, it is because of the deep root corruption has taken and the extent of despair before our advent.”
Dignitaries present at the event included a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd); a former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku; and representative of the wife of the President, Dolapo Osinbajo, who is also wife of the Vice President.
Meanwhile Waziri says the Nigeria Police Force has no criminal database.
Waziri said this in her published book, ‘One Step Ahead: Life as a Spy, Detective and Anti-Graft Czar’.
She said, “Serial or habitual criminals perpetrate their crimes using the same modus operandi. A database aids swift police action. It saves time, resources and lives too. Unfortunately, my service at F Department was brief, just one year.
“Not enough time for my mission to fully mature. Most disheartening, there was no follow-up on my effort after my exit from the department. Up until today, the Nigeria Police Force still does not have a criminal database.”
The United States had last month imposed an immigrant visa ban on Nigeria as a result of the country’s failure to comply with its established identity-management and information-sharing criteria.
In a statement, the US Department of Homeland Security said the restriction became necessary due to America’s inability to verify a traveller’s identity and “assess whether they pose a national security or public safety risk”