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STAR DISCLOSURE: 20 Serving Govs Own Houses in London, says EFCC Ribadu

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Daily Trust
Tuesday, October 7, 2003 

20 serving govs own houses in London, says Crime Commission boss

By Ahmed I. Shekarau

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Alhaji Nuhu 
Ribadu, has said that his commission was in possession of substantial evidence 
which shows that 20 of the serving governors in Nigeria own choice houses in 
various parts of London "alone."

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust yesterday in Abuja, 
Ribadu said this excludes other abundant evidence of the affluent lives public 
office holders in the country live, "at the expense of an increasingly 
pauperised 
citizenry."



The EFCC boss, however, lamented that his commission was hamstrung by the 
immunity clause in the nationís constitution from prosecuting such public 
officers most of whom, according to him, plunder the resources they are expected 
to 
manage in trust for the people.



"A situation where you see governors and other public office holders turning 
their respective positions into their private treasuries, treating them the 
way they like and nobody is doing anything about it is very unfortunate. And we 
cannot do anything about it because of the immunity clause in the 
constitution," he said.



Ribadu said that the immunity clause must be expunged from the constitution 
for Nigeria to tackle corruption effectively. "Unless we remove this immunity 
clause and say that yes, somebody whom we entrust with public funds must be 
held accountable, Iím telling you, it will be difficult for us to address this 
problem of corruption in this country.



"Itís a constitutional thing. I know itís very difficult to do it. But we 
must remove it. There is need for an urgent national debate on this. Nigerians 
must come out and talk about this," Ribadu affirmed.



He said while it was on record that more than N3 trillion was disbursed to 
the three tiers of government between 1999 to 2003, "there is virtually nothing 
to show for it", saying this was another indication of the level of corruption 
and greed in the country

According to the crime commission boss, most serving governors would not 
probe their predecessors because virtually all of them were also out to loot 
their 
respective statesí treasuries. "Tell me one single former governor who is now 
being investigated. Nobody is even interested. The new governors will also 
say ĎIím not interested in probing my predecessorí, because he is also 
doing 
the same thing.



Ribadu said the commission was currently investigating and prosecuting over 
100 cases, out of which 27 were already in court and denied insinuations that 
the EFCC was either turning a blind eye to some cases while pursuing others 
with vigour, or witch-hunting certain personalities in the country.



Citing an example with the case involving the former managing director of 
Bank of the North (BON) Limited, Shettima Mohammed Bulama, he said although he 
did not want to say anything that would be prejudicial to the matter, his 
commission acted based on a petition forwarded to it by the Central Bank of 
Nigeria 
(CBN).



The EFCC will never turn the blind eye on any case, "no matter how highly 
placed the people involved are, because we have the mandate of the country to 
rid 
the nation of the embarrassing frauds, money laundering and other economic 
crimes perpetrated by Nigerians," he pointed out.



The EFCC boss said the commissionís activities has already started restoring 
the confidence of the international financial system in the country, 
expressing optimism that the world financial institutions which earlier 
threatened to 
sanction Nigerian may drop their threats.



Some international financial institutions in the Untied States of America and 
the United Kingdom have given Nigeria up to November this year to stem the 
tide of money laundering and other financial crimes perpetrated by its citizens 
or be blacklisted by such world bodies.


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Aluko Commentary

Na wa o!

And who could those 20 "sitting and untouchable" governors be?


25 Most likely - because they have been in office since May 1999:
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Lagos - Tinubu

Edo - Igbinedion
Delta - Ibori
Rivers - Odili
Bayelsa - Alamasieyegha
Cross-River - Duke
Akwa-Ibom - Attah

Imo - Udenwa
Abia - Uzor Kalu
Ebonyi - Egwu
Enugu - Nnamani

Plateau - Dariye
Benue - Akume
Niger - Kure
Nassarawa - Adamu

Kaduna - Makarfi
Sokoto - Bafawara 
Zamfara - Ahmed Sani
Katsina - Yar'Adua
Kebbi - Aliero 
Jigawa - Turaki

Yobe - Ibrahim 
Taraba - Nyame
Adamawa - Haruna
Bauchi - Mu'azu

11 Least likely - since "elected" only May 2003
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Ogun - Daniel
Ekiti - Fayose
Ondo - Agagu
Oyo - Ladoja
Osun - Oyinlola

Anambra - Ngige

Kwara - Saraki
Kogi - Idris

Kano - Shekarau

Borno - Sheriff
Gombe - Goje

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Another good sound from Ribadu!