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In Retrospect, My Sacking By Jonathan Wasn’t A Bad Idea, Says Farida

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, says she is glad in retrospect that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan kicked her out of office.

She said had she not been sacked, she would have been traumatised by now, given the ongoing revelation of alleged grand corruption that took place under Jonathan’s administration.

Waziri said the EFCC under Jonathan was not given a free hand to operate, adding that she got the first indication of it during the probe of the fuel subsidy scam.

She said it was her refusal to back down from the probe of one of the masterminds of the fuel subsidy scam that earned her a dismissal by Jonathan.

A statement signed by Mr. Femi Babafemi on her behalf on Sunday quoted the ex-EFCC helmsman as saying this during an interaction with journalists in Lagos.

She was said to have been asked to react to the revelation about the alleged grand sleaze that took place under Jonathan’s watch.

Waziri stated, “I’m only glad that those things didn’t happen under my watch as the EFCC chairman because it would have been too traumatic for me. And that is why if I see President Jonathan today, I will kneel down to thank him for the honour done me by removing me as the EFCC chairman at the time he did.

“My first strong premonition of what was ahead was when I began the probe of the monumental oil subsidy fraud going on then.

“I came to Lagos on a vital intelligence on the subsidy scam and as soon as I arrested a key culprit, I got a call from the Presidential Villa asking me to release the suspect, because, in their words, ‘he is our person,’ but I refused to let him off and days after, I was removed from office.”

She said the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was lucky to have the personal support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

She noted that though Magu was doing his best, the anti-graft war would only be successful when the citizens buy into it.

Waziri also described the creation of special courts for corruption cases by the National Judicial Council as a vindication for her, hailing the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who is the NJC chairman, for the initiative.

She added, “The CJN is a man after my heart because great minds think alike. Finally, a Daniel has come to judgment. I remember when I began the call for special courts, I went round the leadership of the judiciary and the NBA then; I took advantage of every opportunity I had to justify the need for it but many of my adversaries kicked against it because they were desperate to see my downfall, but I’m glad some of them have joined the crusade today.”

PUNCH

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