Home Finance Ribadu accuses Atiku of cheap blackmail, it will not save him

Ribadu accuses Atiku of cheap blackmail, it will not save him

by Business News Report

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
The Chairman Economic and Financial crime Commission Mr. Nuhu Ribadu said yesterday that the Vice President is indulging in cheap blackmail of the commission in order to win public sympathy. Ribadu who featured as a panelist at a seminar organised by the World Bank in Singapore said that the accusation of selective justice being leveled against the commission was the handiwork of the political class who felt they are above the law. He declared “the Vice President cry is cheap blackmail, he is from my village, my town, if I am after him for whose benefit. When the EFCC started its work “we went after those involved in 419 deals, many were arrested and prosecuted, there was no cry of selective justice”,
when we went after the oil pipeline vandals and crude oil thieves and arrested and prosecuted them we were not accused, when we went after the bank loan defaulters we were not accused of selective justice, but now that we are after the most corrupt group in the Nigeria society who feel they are sacred cows we are being accused of selective justice.”
Ribadu said that it a war that the EFCC has declared on corruption and naturally those affected will fight back by all means. According to him the job of the EFCC is the most difficult job for any body to do. It is a job of going after people, that is depriving them of their ill gotten wealth, such people will go after you. He said that in the near future those who steal money from Africa will be treated the way the America treated Osama bin Laden. He declared Developed countries can not have double standards and urged them not to make their countries the abode of stolen money. He said that over 80 per cent of looted funds from Africa are treasured in the vaults of developed nations stating that even when the funds are traced they put all kinds of conditionality in the release of the funds. Ribadu expressed the federal government’s displeasure over the condition imposed by the Swiss authorities before the release of the looted Abacha funds stating that such conditions should not have arisen as the money was that of Nigeria.
The Word Bank President at a crowded press interview on Sunday declared “ in addressing the issues of governance, this is not some idea that we invented at the World Bank. You can go around the world the President of Nigeria is making a strong effort to deal with corruption and taking on corrupt officials at a level that was unheard of in his country. And it is not just at the level of presidents. It is taxicab drivers in Nigeria and developing countries around the world, ordinary people, who will tell you that if we’re going to succeed, if we’re going to develop, if we are going to get out of poverty, the money has to go where it is supposed to go and not to line the bank accounts of rich and corrupt individuals or officials. “So, governance is really at the forefront of people’s minds. In fact, when the Blair commission, the UK Commission on Africa, reported last year Рa commission that included, by the way, two African heads of government -they identified weak governance as the biggest obstacle to development in Africa.

‚ÄúI think, going back to my earlier comments, it‚Äôs not the only obstacle. Money is needed, resources are needed ? but it needs to go in the right place. Third, we simply can‚Äôt afford to turn a blind eye when we do encounter corruption in our projects. It not only means the money that should be going to build clinics and build schools and provide adequate housing for the poor instead is going to enrich corrupt individuals, and it is siphone off from where it ought to go. In fact, sometimes it‚Äôs not just a waste of money; it sometimes leads to buildings that collapse or to medicines that are harmful being given to pregnant women. These are not hypothetical examples; these are real ones. The World Bank and four of the largest regional development banks have also agreed agree to share evidence and use common methods to probe corruption, but not all of them plan to publish companies’ names.
The agreement is another step in World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’s drive since last year to stamp out the abuse of development funding by people who syphon off cash for personal gain.
“We’re running into some legal problems,” said Asian Development Bank auditor general Peter Pedersen, who tracks 66 countries.
“If we put them on the Web site, that’s actually slander or libel in some of the countries,” he said, referring to the naming of companies.
In practice the agreement, which also includes the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, would serve as an early warning mechanism by red-flagging companies.
“We have opened the door so that we can decide to sanction somebody the World Bank has sanctioned,” Pedersen added, after regional banks net with Wolfowitz to agree on evidence sharing.
“The World Bank has one great advantage over the rest of us — they are immune (to lawsuits) all over the world. We are immune in only 66 member countries.” The World Bank currently publishes a list of more than 330 firms ineligible to be awarded World Bank-financed contracts because they were found to have violated the bank’s fraud and corruption provisions.

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