28th November, 2011
Two prominent groups in the country, the CLEEN Foundation and the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, this morning said sacked Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, was sacked because the government of President Jonathan and other politicians in the corridors of power had become uncomfortable with the determination to kick against corruption in the country.
The two organisations were responding to the way she was sacked recently by the President.
Waziri had claimed that she got to know of her sack on the television and had not got any formal letter detailing her removal and the reason for the sack.
Reacting on a television programme, Innocent Chukwuma of the CLEEN foundation said though Waziri started rather slow when she was appointed to head the EFCC, she had become determined during her last days to ensure that corruption is reduced in the country.
He further said before now, the woman had passed through several challenges and had not failed to make her challenges public.
He also mentioned the problem the EFCC had with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
He questioned the manner Waziri was eased out and said this treatment would further stagnate the move to fight corruption which the President claims he is passionate about.
According to him, the manner she was sacked is a strategy to tell the next person who would take over the job that he should be careful about the manner he goes about the job putting into consideration the manner in which Waziriâ€™s predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu, was also sacked.
Comrade Debo Adeniran of CACOL in his reaction said his organisation was privy to the many challenges Mrs. Waziri faced while in the EFCC.
For example, he said, during the investigation of former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, the woman at a time spent her money as she was frustrated during the period by some of her staff and highly placed politicians who were sympathetic to the ex-Governorâ€™s plight.
He also said the woman had complained that most times, her investigations into corruption allegations against high profile people in the country are stalled half-way.
Adeniran said he had information that the woman was offered an ambassadorial appointment days before her sack, but that she refused because the action was seen as another Nuhu Ribadu treatment.
Adeniran added that his organisation had â€œthought the Federal Government would have learnt some lessons with the public odium it plunged itself when the former Chairman of the Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was removed in similar circumstances four years ago.
â€œThe removal of the EFCC Chairman at a time like this and in the circumstances that we are witnessing is to say the least disgraceful, uncalled for, unwarranted and retrogressive. It could only imply that President Jonathan is only paying lip service to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
â€œWhile we are aware that the Federal Government reserves the right to hire or fire its staff and officers, such is expected to be done with high level of moral responsibility and administrative decorum.â€
â€” Eromosele Ebhomele