Omokri: Farida Waziri Has a His­tory of Bad­mouthing Ex-Pres­i­dents

THISDAY - - NEWS -

For­mer me­dia aide to Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has be­rated for­mer Chair­per­son of Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, over al­leged com­ment made by the lat­ter that she was sacked as the com­mis­sion boss “be­cause of a par­tic­u­lar case she was han­dling.”

Omokri, who noted that his at­ten­tion was drawn to Waziri’s com­ment, in a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, said: “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 de­mon­is­ing the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.”

The for­mer Jonathan’s aide stated that it is un­for­tu­nate that Waziri also said she re­ceived a call from Aso Rock over thie case which in­structed her to drop her in­ves­ti­ga­tions, adding that she has his­tory of bad­mouthing past lead­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, “Nige­ri­ans will re­mem­ber that 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.

“It will be re­called that af­ter she was ap­pointed, she 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, Waziri de­scribed 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’.

“Waziri made those com­ments to in­gra­ti­ate her­self to the then ad­min­is­tra­tion and her ac­cu­sa­tions against for­mer Pres­i­dent Obasanjo were de­nied.”

Omokri fur­ther dis­closed that Waziri also ac­cused her pre­de­ces­sor, Ribadu, of be­ing used by Pres­i­dent Obasanjo “to push the aborted third term agenda, as she claimed to have been Ribadu’s in­struc­tor at the Po­lice Academy. Again, her com­ments were found to be un­true and Ribadu re­leased a state­ment then to that ef­fect.”

He main­tained that Waziri has a his­tory of telling lies against for­mer pres­i­dents in or­der to in­gra­ti­ate her­self to the serv­ing pres­i­dent which he noted is an es­tab­lished fact and old habits die hard.

“For­mer Pres­i­dent Jonathan never called 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 Waziri has any ev­i­dence that she was asked to drop any cases of cor­rup­tion, she is chal­lenged to show proof of such.

“Jonathan fired 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 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 nine points. Which God fear­ing leader would leave a per­son re­spon­si­ble for such ret­ro­gres­sion as the head of a sen­si­tive in­sti­tu­tion as the EFCC?” Omokri al­leged.

How­ever, the ex-me­dia aide dis­closed af­ter Waziri’s sack 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,” he added.

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