Former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mrs. Farida Waziri has lauded Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen’s initiatives aimed at strengthening the war against corruption.
Fielding questions at an event in Lagos at the weekend, Mrs. Waziri said she was happy with the CJN for setting up special courts to handle corruption cases, stressing that “this bold move has indeed vindicated me on the crusade I started for the establishment of specialised or special courts as EFCC chairman some eight years ago.”
According to her, “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.”
On her reaction to the shocking revelations on the volume of sleaze under the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, the former EFCC boss said: “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 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.”
Mrs Waziri went on: “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.”