Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mrs Farida Waziri has expressed her gratitude to former President Goodluck Jonathan for relieving her of the position unceremoniously.
She told newsmen over the weekend that during her tenure as the anti-graft agency boss, she discovered monumental fraud and going by the intelligence available, it was going to be a very difficult job.
“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 according to 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.
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 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.
“The CJN is a man after my heart because great minds think alike. Finally, a Daniel has come to judgement. I remember when I began the call for special courts, I went round the leadership of the judiciary and 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 for my downfall but I’m glad some of them have joined the crusade today.”
“I’m only glad that those things didn’t happen under my watch as EFCC chairman because it would have been too traumatic for me. And that is why if I see ex-President Jonathan today, I will kneel down to thank him for the honour done me by removing me as EFCC chairman at the time he did.”
Farida Waziri was appointed as Chairman of the EFCC in 2008 and was removed from office in 2011 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.