By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz*
Our attention has been drawn to the shameless lies a former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, recklessly spewed to the media yesterday. The cause of Mr. Okiro’s anger, the statement, in a London court, by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu that James Ibori was instrumental to his emergence as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) needs no further equivocation as it was an open secret to everybody in the government circle then. If Okiro is now denying this in public, there is no way he can deny this open secret to a number of people including an influential governor from the North-Central then, and a couple of other people who helped facilitate his selection by Ibori. It was this same shameless method of desperate lobbying that Okiro, a chronic political jobber and sycophant of the first order would use in getting subsequent appointments as Chief Security Officer to the PDP national chairman and later, regrettably, as the chairman of the Police Service Commission.
The assertion by Okiro that Ribadu wanted to be the IGP further underlines the former IGP as a perennial peddler of falsehood. The truth is Nuhu Ribadu’s focus then was consolidating on his modest efforts at the EFCC, especially at a time when he was working on high-profile cases, including that of Okiro’s godfather, James Ibori. We therefore challenge Okiro to name those people he called Ribadu’s friends that narrated the fictitious story of Ribadu’s interest in becoming the IGP to him.
The highest distortion in Okiro’s statement, however, is his attempt to rewrite the well-known and widely documented assassination attempts on the former EFCC chairman, and Okiro’s hand in it all. It is ridiculous that Okiro is now desperately trying to paint himself in another colour after all the schemings he orchestrated. It beats our imagination that Okiro would want a Nuhu Ribadu he was fighting to destroy to report those incidences to him. It would have been a case of having a culprit to be a judge in his own case. At the time, the trio of Micheal Aondoakaa, the former Attorney General of the Federation, Okiro and Mrs Farida Waziri, the former EFCc chairman, had created a hell out of the world for Ribadu. The only sensible thing to do was to avoid these characters and seek solace somewhere else. This notwithstanding, it is a blatant lie that Okiro telephoned Ribadu “several times” but that he did not answer his calls. What Ribadu and other Nigerians easily recall was an elated Okiro rushing to address the press to deny something he knew nothing about. The bullet-riddled car Ribadu drove during that unfortunate life threatening incident is still there, if Okiro or any other person would want further proof.
On the issue of withdrawal of Ribadu’s personal security, if Okiro is suffering from selective amnesia, let him be reminded that that was exactly what he did. He also redeployed Ibrahim Lamorde out of EFCC, to Bauchi State Police Command as Area Commander in Ningi. He did the same thing to other top EFCC operatives that Nigeria spent a fortune to train as investigators. One of them suspected to be close to Ribadu was even locked up for months in police custody. This also belie his statement that as IGP he could not have altered the postings of police within the EFCC.
As for Okiro’s corruption credentials, we would like to alert the retired IGP that he is dancing naked in the gallery as his nasty record is something known to a lot of people. A man who clearly reeks of corruption, is Okiro denying that he is corrupt when we all know he cannot account for the source of the wealth he used in building a shopping mall in Jabi, a hotel with casino in Lugbe and a private school, all in Abuja? This is not to mention his property in Lagos and Port Harcourt, while he was still serving in the police. If a public servant, one tasked with the responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerians and instilling discipline in the police, managed to amass such wealth, what gut does he have to talk of corruption? It is a national tragedy that a man of such flawed character has now been appointed to head an important institution like the Police Service Commission. May God rescue Nigeria.
* Abdulaziz Abdulaziz is the Media Assistant to former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu