STAR DISCLOSURE: 20 Serving Govs Own Houses in London, says EFCC Ribadu
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
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
Ogun - Daniel
Ekiti - Fayose
Ondo - Agagu
Oyo - Ladoja
Osun - Oyinlola
Anambra - Ngige
Kwara - Saraki
Kogi - Idris
Kano - Shekarau
Borno - Sheriff
Gombe - Goje
Another good sound from Ribadu!