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Ex-EFCC Chair Waziri Says:”I Never Knew James Ibori”

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, has said that ex-Governor James Ibori was not behind her appointment.










She said she never knew Ibori before she was made the EFCC chair.
Her position contradicted the claim by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo that Mrs. Waziri was head-hunted for the job by Ibori.
Mrs. Waziri, who spoke in an interview with EFCC Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”, to mark the 10-year anniversary of the agency, said some groups deliberately fought her and churned out false documents.
She said: “I never knew him; I never knew James Ibori. When I was appointed, I went to the Villa very often because the President called his staff and told them Farida has free access to him 24/7 whether in the office or Villa.
“So, I went there very often and I met Ibori; he was always there.”
On the allegation that she aided Ibori’s escape to Dubai through a tip-off, she said: “It’s all lies of the enemies.”
“By the time I write my book, the truth will prevail. I never knew Ibori; look, I believe what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I don’t believe in half measures.
“By my training and upbringing, I can never betray my country for anyone, for any reason; I never had to go to National Security Adviser with the police to assist, that was when the police was attacked.
“If I was in league with him, wouldn’t I have said ‘lie low, don’t worry’, that we will just do that and pretend. Let me ask you, if I was in league with Ibori and was not sincerely pursuing him, would he have gone out of this country to Dubai?
“Of course, I was all out and that was how he ran out and went and got himself in more trouble.”
Mrs. Waziri also explained that contrary to insinuations, a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mike Aondoakaa (SAN), did not know about her appointment.
She said Aondoakaa was shocked that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua picked her outside the list submitted to him.
She added: “I think what happened was that my younger brother, Aondoakaa, the former AGF, was close to Ibori. This former AGF is from my area, my local government, but I never knew him. Well, he might have known me because young people know the elderly.
“When I was in Turkey with my husband, one of my relations called and said, ‘you know your brother is now the AG’. I said ‘really’. People probably linked me to him and thought he brought me.
“Believe you me; he was against my becoming the EFCC chairman. When the President picked my CV, that was when he came to my house for the first time and said the President had shocked them.
“What happened? He said ‘he picked your CV, now are you going to do the job. Because the press will come after you, why don’t you answer now so that I can go back?’
“I asked him, ‘is it the president that sent you?’ He said ‘yes’. I said ‘I will think about it’. He said ‘no, no, no, I should tell him now.’ I called my husband and told him this is what the AG has said and he said ‘well, you cannot refuse to serve your father land in any capacity, so convey to them the message.”
On her sack as EFCC chairman, faulted the approach adopted by President Goodluck Jonathan.
She said: “The manner of the sack was what bothered me. I have done a span of 35 years, fighting for my father land. I deserve some little dignity and respect.
“When you wake up and you see on AIT, Waziri sacked! ‘NTA, Waziri sacked!’ Channels, ‘Waziri sacked!’ That is the style I am talking about.
“My predecessor’s case was even worse, but I do hope that the authorities will take note. Except you are removed as a result of gross misconduct, any other way, you should be treated with dignity, respect for human person.
“So, it’s the style I frowned at, not about leaving; I knew I would one day leave. In fact, the hand writing was on the wall. I knew it was a matter of time.”-The Nation

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