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Why Ribadu lost UN job

Posted by From MONDAY OKORAFOR, Abuja on 2008/01/08 | Views: 659 |

Why Ribadu lost UN job


The scandal that swept away former World Bank president, Mr Paul Wolfowitz appears to have cost the embattled chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a United Nations high profile job he had been dreaming of.

The scandal that swept away former World Bank president, Mr Paul Wolfowitz appears to have cost the embattled chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a United Nations high profile job he had been dreaming of.

Contrary to a report in a weekly newspaper that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was instrumental to the loss, Daily Sun can report authoritatively that the president had absolutely nothing to do with the matter.

Ribadu, according to highly placed diplomatic sources, lost out due to his controversial and selective style of prosecuting the anti-graft war and his reaction to the sack of Wolfowitz, who was pushing him for the job. The national weekly wrote last Saturday that Yar’Adua had prevailed on Ribadu not to accept the job with the promise that his job at EFCC would be left intact for him.

However, Daily Sun learnt that another factor that might have cost Ribadu the juicy job could largely be traced to the arrest and detention of vocal opponents of the Obasanjo administration.
The US authorities were said to have been irked by Ribadu’s perceived selectivity which saw him hounding only those who were not in the same political camp with the former president.

According to our source, they had argued that a highly sensitive job such as the one for which the EFCC chairman was being tipped required a man who could not only discharge his responsibility without fear or favour, but also be seen by all to be fair-minded.

According to the source, Wolfowitz had proposed Ribadu for the job before he was disgraced out of office. To worsen the matter, the source said, Ribadu had written opinion articles in international media extolling the virtues of the drowning Wolfowitz and making a case for his continued stay in office, even when the US government which had sponsored him was said to have been thoroughly embarrassed by his action.

“Ribadu’s indiscretion in making a case for a drowning Wolfowitz and not Yar’Adua, cost him the UN job,” the source said.

Besides the Wolfowitz debacle, close watchers of Ribadu in the US administration were said to have raised questions about why notable personal aides and close allies of ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, who were known to be swimming in ill-gotten wealth, were carefully left out of EFCC’s dragnet.
According to him, they had wondered why Ribadu could not as much as successfully prosecute any of the former governors, even after he had declared on the floor of the National Assembly that 31 of them were corrupt.

The Americans had also felt at that time that despite the commendable strides of the anti-graft agency, the war was only mainly being fought on the pages of newspapers. “They could not understand why none of Obasanjo’s ministers could be prosecuted, even when it was very clear that a number of them were corrupt,” said Daily Sun sources.

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