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Nigeria's Chief Crime Fighter Removed
Will corruption prevail in Nigeria?
Bala Muhammad Makosa (babanjawad)     Print Article 
Published 2008-01-06 05:44 (KST)   
Since Nuhu Ribadu was appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by then-President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, he has proved his tremendous dedication and selfless service to curtailing the increase of corrupt practices among public office holders.

Ribadu has performed his job well and reduced the rate of corrupt practices in Nigeria drastically. Two years ago, in just one case among many, Ribadu arrested then-Inspector General of Police Alhaji Tafa Balogun, who was charged for looting millions from a public fund entrusted to his care. Balogun was later found guilty and sentenced to prison.

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Last week, however, current Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro announced that Ribadu would be removed as the commission's boss. Okiro said that the Nigerian Police Force had decided to send Ribadu "to a one year course at the National School of Policy and Strategic Studies" in northern Jos. Okiro added, "He will be replaced by someone to be announced later."

Okiro's announcement has been condemned by many Nigerians. Some say it is an attempt by the administration of President Umaru Yar'Adua to "sabotage" the prosecution of a former Delta state governor who has been charged with looting millions from government coffers because the governor sponsored Yar'Adua's presidential campaign.

Others say the same thing about Ribadu's attempt to prosecute Senator Iyabo Obasanjo (the daughter of former President Obasanjo), who has been accused for conspiring with her father during his regime to loot billions from public funds.

Responding to this allegation, Yar'Adua and Okiro have said the decision to send Ribadu to school was made with clean minds, not with any hidden agenda.

Ribadu, for his part, has only said, "I must adhere to the directive of my boss, and I will go for a course."

During his days of service on the commission, Ribadu helped Nigeria reach a turning point in history in fighting against corruption, money laundering and illegal monetary transactions. Now that his seat is vacant, who among Nigerians can fill it and serve as he did? Will corruption now prevail in Nigeria?
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Bala Muhammad Makosa

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