Former media aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has berated former Chairperson of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri, over alleged comment made by the latter that she was sacked as the commission boss “because of a particular case she was handling.”
Omokri, who noted that his attention was drawn to Waziri’s comment, in a statement issued monday, said: “It is understandable that when there is a new government in power, people would want to ingratiate themselves to the new administration and one of the easiest way to do this is by demonising the previous government.”
The former Jonathan’s aide stated that it is unfortunate that Waziri also said she received a call from Aso Rock over thie case which instructed her to drop her investigations, adding that she has history of badmouthing past leaders.
According to the statement, “Nigerians will remember that Waziri was appointed as the chairperson of the EFCC by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua in May 2008 under very controversial circumstances after the unceremonious removal of the pioneer Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.
“It will be recalled that after she was appointed, she made some uncomplimentary remarks against former President Olusegun Obasanjo because he said ‘I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu (Farida Waziri) was not the right person for that job’.
“In response to that statement, Waziri described Obasanjo as a man known for ‘speaking in a manner that betrays his status as an elder statesman’. She also accused President Obasanjo of ‘mischief’.
“Waziri made those comments to ingratiate herself to the then administration and her accusations against former President Obasanjo were denied.”
Omokri further disclosed that Waziri also accused her predecessor, Ribadu, of being used by President Obasanjo “to push the aborted third term agenda, as she claimed to have been Ribadu’s instructor at the Police Academy. Again, her comments were found to be untrue and Ribadu released a statement then to that effect.”
He maintained that Waziri has a history of telling lies against former presidents in order to ingratiate herself to the serving president which he noted is an established fact and old habits die hard.
“Former President Jonathan never called Waziri from the Aso Rock Presidential Villa or any State House at any given time, neither did he ask her to drop or take up any investigation.
“Let it be known that there is no statute of limitations on corruption cases and if Waziri has any evidence that she was asked to drop any cases of corruption, she is challenged to show proof of such.
“Jonathan fired Waziri for reasons he would choose not to disclose publicly for now, but Nigerians may want to remember that Nigeria continued to sink in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index during Waziri’s tenure at the EFCC.
“Things got so bad at her last year at the EFCC (2011) that we moved from 134 in 2010 to 143 in 2011 which represented a backward movement of nine points. Which God fearing leader would leave a person responsible for such retrogression as the head of a sensitive institution as the EFCC?” Omokri alleged.
However, the ex-media aide disclosed after Waziri’s sack in 2011, Nigeria made her highest improvements in the annual Corruption Perception Index till date in 2014 when we moved eighth places from 144 to 136, “so in essence, the facts speak for themselves,” he added.
Omokri continued: “Jonathan is proud to have been the president under whom Nigeria made her best improvement in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International. That is a fact. And so he is not concerned about the opinion of Waziri or other persons as opinions cannot overthrow facts.”