Ibori: Ribadu’s Excesses, Not Me, Removed Him from Office

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Asks misguided journalists to stop maligning him

Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, has asked journalists to stop maligning him almost on daily basis.

In a statement issued yesterday by Head of Ibori’s Media Office, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, he said Ibori has particularly condemned the “bare-faced lies, that some journalists and media organisations, especially Premium Times, have continued to heap against him.”

He added that “what makes it galling is the matter under contention-the Department of State Security (DSS’s) report that stopped the Senate from confirming Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and did not warrant the dragging in of Ibori’s name at all. 

“Yet, the online publication went wild, making baseless accusations against Ibori, though it had said it was checking the facts in DSS’ allegations.

“Specifically, on the allegation that during the tenure of Farida Waziri as EFCC chairperson, sensitive documents were found in Magu’s home,” the online newspaper wrote that:  “The facts do not support that claim.

The statement noted that Ibori was not concerned with the fact that the publication chose not to cross check the facts but rested on answers which a journalist got almost a decade ago, and did not say how he acquired such information.

It stated further that “what Ibori finds irresponsible is the allegation that was based on pressure from political gladiators of the period (among which were former Governors James Ibori and Bukola Saraki), then President Musa Yar’Adua unceremoniously removed Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the EFCC.

“Present Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has exposed this claim as a terrible lie in his book ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, where he stated the source of the trouble he and Ribadu had with the late President Umar Yar’Adua.

   “On page 358, in a section entitled: ‘Umaru Asks Nuhu for Support: the Beginning of Our Trouble’, he wrote that Ribadu was so maddened that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had favoured Yar’Adua above Nasir-el-Rufai  to succeed him as president in 2007 that he told it to Yar’Adua to his face.”

Ibori continued in the statement: “It is clear that from El-Rufai that there was no way a clear-headed Yar-Adua would have appointed a power-drunken Ribadu, who had unjustly arrested some Katsina State’s council chairmen just to demonise Yar’Adua to remain as EFCC chairman-to continue to arrest people unjustly, play politics with his office and hypocritically claim to be fighting corruption when he was neck deep in the worst corruption, maligning others just because of politics.”

Ibori therefore advised Nigerian journalists to try and give Nigerians a decent picture of events because the nation’s future would rest on that.

In another Development, Ibori also called on his well-wishers to disregard reports on the date of his return to Nigeria.

The embattled former governor asked the public to disregard such wrong information about his arrival in Nigeria on December 23. An earlier report had said Ibori would return on an Arik Air flight, adding that “when the time comes, any important information will be made available to the public and nothing would be left for conjecture.”