By Adenike Lucas
The only woman to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has spoken for the first time about her sack.
Farida Waziri, served at the anti-graft commission from 2008 – before she was unceremoniously sacked by Goodluck Jonathan, having dared to investigate one of the former President’s “person” in November 2011.
“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,” Mrs Waziri said in a statement received on Sunday.
Since her dismissal from office, various investigation has shown large level of corruption that went on during President Jonathan’s administration. Some of the investigation revealed how $2 billion was embezzled through the office of the former National Security Adviser.
Another $90 billion scandal involving a former Petroleum Minister continues to be in the news.
“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,” Mrs Waziri said, adding that “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.”
President Jonathan replaced Mrs Waziri with Ibrahim Lamorde who was later sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over allegation of corruption.
DENISAURUS News understands that Mr Lamorde, who was declared wanted by the Senate, has been appointed Commissioner of Police and transferred to head the Police Special Fraud Unit, PSFU Force CID Ikoyi, Lagos.
Despite her sack, the anti-graft boss fondly known as mama, helped to set up the Assets Forfeiture Unit, – an important department in the EFCC which keeps record of all assets recovered from suspects before, during and after investigation – and is still held in high esteem by core staff at the anti-graft commission.
Mama Waziri waged a serious war against corruption, and during her reigns at the commission, former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP Olabode George was arrested and convicted for abuse of office and illegal award of contracts worth N84 billion while he was chairman of the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA.
President Jonathan went on to grant a judicial pardon to Chief George.