I have no deal with the President – Nuhu Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu - former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

How has it been sir?

Wonderful. Great.

What do you do now sir?

A: I’m in Washington DC as a staff of Center for Global Development. Right now that’s where I am. But I am also gradually getting back home, to the path of the process that I think is so important to all of us, as Nigerians; to help in the improvement….and participate in the change that I think is necessary in our country. So, I’m just trying to get from one operation to another.

  1. There are insinuations that you are going to go into politics.

A: Yes

  1. Would you throw more light on that?

A: I am going to go into politics

  1. And there are rumors that you will be running mate with President Goodluck Jonathan.

A: I don’t know that one. It’s not true.

  1. If he chooses you, will you go with him?

A: Let it come first, I have not been chosen.

  1. Ok. There were also talks that you will become a Special Adviser to him (President Goodluck Jonathan) and return to the EFCC.

a: That’s not true.

  1. What is your take on the anti-corruption war right now. Do you think the war on corruption is as vigorous as it was during your time?

A: You know, I decided long time ago not to comment on the person who has taken over from me. Me, as a predecessor, it will not be wise. Because there is no way, for me as a predecessor…It will not look nice to really give an opinion of someone that just took over from me. I have decided to just keep quiet, I give others that…the opportunity and the chance for them to really assess it. I think that is the wise thing to do.

  1. There were allegations then, that when she took over, you refused to hand over some files to her, and the public have heard your own side of the story sir.

A: Well, you said allegations. A Chairman of EFCC never handles files. You do not hold files. There was nothing like that. I don’t think it was even said, truly. She will never say anything like that. EFCC Chairman has nothing to do with files.

  1. They have nothing to do with files sir ?

A: Absolutely. Never. It’s not your job to hold files.

  1. How involved are you currently sir, with the …………

A: Not in Nigeria. Maybe at the international level.  Yes.

  1. But you also spoke about the rule of Law.

A: Yes

  1. Would you say you followed the rule of law while you were the EFCC Chairman?

A: Absolutely ! Properly.

  1. But some people accused you of kidnapping legislators and making them…..

A: That’s not true. Which legislator? Do you have one name of any legislator? When you do work like the one we did, a very difficult work they’ll always accuse you of one thing or the other. Without nothing to support their accusations. It’s not true. It never happened.

  1. There was this talk that because of how corrupt Odili was, you were the one that stopped him from becoming Vice President.

A: I have no comment on that. (laughs)

  1. Just say something…a little about that…

A: I have no comment on that.

  1. Ok. But please tell us, are you going to work with this administration?

A: I don’t know yet. Honestly, that’s the truth. I have not been offered anything !

  1. You have not spoken to the President?

A: I have spoken to him severally, but offer is different from speaking.

  1. As at the time you worked with Obasanjo, he started feeling threatened about you.

A: Obasanjo was my boss. I want to keep quiet about it.

  1. He was saying that you were more popular than him.

A: I don’t think ….that’s not true.

  1. What is your relationship with all these people…someone like James Ibori.

A: We are very good friends. I am no more a policeman, I am no more with the EFCC.

  1. But you still have International Connections sir.

A: Not in the way to arrest someone.

  1. No, No. To aid in his arrest.

A: No way, I don’t do that. It’s not my job. It’s not my duty. Honestly. And that is the truth.

  1. What is your relationship with Atiku?

A: He is my brother. We are from the same village.

  1. From _____________ ?

A: Yes ! He’s my very good friend and a brother.

  1. Have you seen him since you came back?

A: No. Not yet.

  1. But sir what of all the young people you arrested ? Do you think we can still entrust leadership in the hands of the young people ?

A: Yes. Very much.

  1. But most of the people you arrested are young people.

A: No ! That is not true ! Even the youth, those people arrested are products of these distortions. They were not given the right leadership. Nigerians are good people by nature, including the young ones.

If they do not get what, individually, they deserve; If their own God given talents are not being put into good use, chances are they will deviate and they will go through the wrong way.

Youth requires direction, requires guidance. We failed at a particular point in our development process. We did not allow them to harness and actualize their own God given talents.

  1. Is Jonathan running in 2011 ?

A: It is not an issue for me, i don’t know.

  1. WIll you advise him to run ?

A: It’s not my business. I have no rights to say that.