Farida Mzamber Waziri

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Farida Mzamber Waziri
Chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
In office
May 2008 – 23 November 2011
Preceded by Nuhu Ribadu
Succeeded by Ibrahim Lamorde
Personal details
Born (1949-07-07)July 7, 1949
Gboko, Benue State.
Nationality Nigerian
Alma mater University of Lagos
Occupation Police Officer, Lawyer

Chief (Mrs.) Farida Mzamber Waziri was appointed Executive Chairperson of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2008.[1] She succeeded Nuhu Ribadu in this post.

Background[edit]

Farida Mzamber Waziri was born on July 7, 1946 and raised in Gboko, Benue State. She obtained her law degree from the University of Lagos and obtained a Masters degree in Law from the Lagos State University. In 1996, she gained a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.[1] She is the author of Advance Fee Fraud, National Security and the Law.[2] Mrs. Waziri has been used as an alias for many email scams.

Police career[edit]

Farida Waziri enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force in 1965 and rose to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police. She held the positions of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), screening and selection, Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Police Force C.I.D Alagbon, Lagos, Commissioner of Police, General Investigation and Commissioner of Police in charge of X-Squad. In this last position she was responsible for handling cases of bribery and corruption within the police force. She also served as Commissioner of Police (special fraud unit) in which role she recorded the first conviction for Advance Fee Fraud in Nigeria.[1]

She led the West African delegation on Advance Fee Fraud to Lyons, France in 1996. She led the Nigeria delegation to Dallas, Texas for a seminar organized by the United State Secret Service in 1998.[1]

EFCC chairman[edit]

When being screened for the EFCC job by the Senate committee on anti-corruption, she denied that she had stood as surety for the former Benue State governor, Senator George Akume when he was charged with corruption.[3] She was confirmed by President Umaru Yar'Adua as EFCC chairman in May 2008, but refused to accept the position until she had also been confirmed by the Senate.[4][5][6] The appointment to this sensitive position was controversial.[7] Shortly after her appointment, Waziri inspected the EFCC detention facilities to ascertain the conditions of suspects.[8] In September 2008 Waziri said that allegations of corruption by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and some former state governors could not be supported because the files did not exist or they had disappeared.[9]

In August 2008, the EFCC arrested former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP Bode George in Lagos and arraigned him and four others on a 163 count-charge of conspiracy, disobedience to lawful order, abuse of office and alleged illegal award of contracts worth N84 billion while he was chairman of the NPA.[10] In October 2009, Bode George was found guilty and sentenced to jail for 30 months.[11]

In April 2009 Waziri said that the EFCC was making arrangements to extradite former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Mallam Nasir El-Rufai from the USA to face charges. She also said the President had approved the return to the Nigeria Police Force of insurance benefits that were part of the N17 billion recovered from the former Inspector General of Police Mustafa Adebayo Balogun, although Alhaji Tafa Balogun was seeking the return of these assets. She said were 200 pending cases for corruption, money laundering, fraud, illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism.[12]

In June 2009, speaking at a press conference to mark her first year in office, Farida Waziri said the EFCC was continuing its efforts to prosecute former governors including Dr. Peter Odili of Rivers State, Senator Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State, Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State, Jolly Nyame of Taraba State and Michael Botmang of Plateau State. Other high-level suspects being pursued included Senator Nicholas Ugbane and the former FCT Minister Nasir El-Rufai. She expressed frustration at court delays in these cases. She also said she would start to crack down on property ownership cases in Abuja.[13]

In May 2009 there were reports of a power struggle with EFCC Director of Operations, Mr. Tunde Ogunshaki, who had been sacked by Waziri, apparently involving James Ibori, the Nigerian Attorney General, Mike Aondoakaa and the Inspector General of Police Mike Mbama Okiro.[14] Also in May, the EFCC took into custody in connection with the N6 billion rural electrification contract scam Senate Committee Chairman on Power, Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu and others.[15] Later that year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission gave a list to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress of 56 prominent Nigerians who allegedly had between them defrauded the nation of N243 billion.[16]

Dismissal and later career[edit]

Waziri was removed from her position by President Goodluck Jonathan on 23 November 2011 and replaced by Ibrahim Lamorde as acting chairman. Her dismissal may have been related to accusations that the EFCC had been selective in its investigations, or to her falling out with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke over the prosecution of cases that were brought before the court.It was also alleged that Waziri might have compromised the investigation into financial misappropriation against the former governor of Bayelsa state,Timipreye Sylva[17] In some cases, as with a case against former Edo State governor Lucky Igbinedion, the court imposed negligible penalties. However, the EFCC may have opened the door by agreeing to accept a plea bargain.[18] After leaving office, there were reports that Waziri was considering writing a book about her experience at the EFCC.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Executive Chairman, EFCC". Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  2. ^ Farida Mzamber Waziri (2005). Advance fee fraud: national security and the law. BookBuilders / Editions Africa. p. 152. ISBN 978-8088-30-9. 
  3. ^ "Nigeria: EFCC Chair – Farida Will Do Better". Leadership (Abuja). 7 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  4. ^ "Nigeria: Senate May Confirm Farida Today". Leadership (Abuja). 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  5. ^ "Yar'Adua Appoints Farida Waziri EFCC Chairman". Leadership (Abuja). 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  6. ^ "FG Returns Lamorde to EFCC". Leadership (Abuja). 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  7. ^ "Farida Waziri and the Anti-Graft War". ThisDay. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Waziri Inspects EFCC's Detention Facilities". Vanguard. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  9. ^ "Farida Waziri, EFCC and one year of shadow-boxing". Guardian Newspapers. June 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. [dead link]
  10. ^ Akinwale Akintunde (August 9, 2008). "EFCC Arraigns Bode George, 4 Others". This Day. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  11. ^ Davidson Iriekpen, Akinwale Akintunde and Sheriff Balogun (2009-10-27). "How Libel Suit Landed Bode George in Prison". This Day. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  12. ^ "EFCC Seeks El-Rufai's Extradition-Tafa Balogun Wants Back Assets". Daily Trust. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  13. ^ "49 Nigerians stole N143.6bn public funds – EFCC". Vanguard. Jun 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  14. ^ "Axed EFCC Operations Director Ogunshaki faces Rustication, 21 years prison conviction". Modern Ghana. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  15. ^ "EFCC Detains Three House Members Over N6 Billion Scam". This Day. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  16. ^ ""Na only Ibori Steal Money"?". Elombah.com. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  17. ^ "Waziri’s Sack And The Future Of EFCC". P.M. News. November 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  18. ^ Jide Ajani (November 27, 2011). "FARIDA WAZIRI: The unfinished business". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  19. ^ "Ex-EFCC Chairman, Waziri goes on course in UK". Vanguard Nigeria. December 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22.