A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, has urged the judiciary to cooperate fully with the federal government in the fight against corruption, saying there should be no sacred cows in the anti-graft war.
The EFCC former boss spoke at the 11th Annual October Lecture of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) held Thursday at NAF Conference Centre Abuja.
The event had the theme “Fighting Corruption and growing a sustainable Nigerian economy”.
Mr. Ribadu said the fight against corruption should be of national concern because the key to the survival and progress of our economy depends on it.
Mr. Ribadu, who was also the chairman of the event, recounted how the senate president, the Inspector General of Police and other top government officials were arrested during his time at the EFCC, saying the recent probe on the judiciary is nothing abnormal.
He urged the judiciary to support the fight against corruption even though there are conflict of interests in the methods used.
“Fighting corruption therefore is key to the survival and progress of our economy. When we fight corruption with seriousness and sincerity it deserves, we safeguard our local economy and our country,” he said.
“Though there is consensus about the need to stop corruption, it is usually in fighting it that disagreements usually arise. With fighting corruption often comes ripples and discomfort as we have seen recently with the probes in the judiciary. It is normal. But we have to withstand the pressure and move on. We have passed the same road before.”
Mr. Ribadu said when they started at the EFCC, some governors felt the EFCC was overreaching its mandate.
“They ganged up to stop us but we persevered. Some of them even went to court but today that has been accepted as normal,” he said. “It was similar with the case of the National Assembly, when we went after the then Senate President. Another example is our taking up of the Inspector General of Police.
“Here was I and my colleagues, middle level and junior police officers taking on the IG. It was unimaginable! The day that arrest was made it was like the sky would fall. But it came to pass.
“It is similar situation we are having today. However, even if we disagree with the method, we have to appreciate the fact what is being done is needed. The Judiciary should understand this and cooperate fully. We have to have this all-out war against corruption without sparing any sacred cow,” he said.