Nuhu Ribadu

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Nuhu Ribadu
Nuhu-nasir-femi cropped.jpg
Pioneer Chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
In office
Succeeded byIbrahim Lamorde
Chairman of Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF)
In office
Personal details
Born (1960-11-21) 21 November 1960 (age 59)
Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria
Political partyAPC
Spouse(s)Zara Ribadu
Alma materAhmadu Bello University
OccupationPolice Officer, Lawyer

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu mni (born 21 November 1960) is a Nigerian police officer and politician who was the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force and a former Nigerian government anti-corruption official. He was the pioneer Executive Chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the government commission tasked with countering corruption and fraud. In April 2009, he became a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development.

He lived in exile until 2010 when he returned to Nigeria and declared his intention to run for President of Nigeria under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). On Friday, 14 January 2011, Nuhu Ribadu was adopted as the presidential candidate of the ACN.

In August 2014, he defected to the ruling party PDP with the intention to run for the Governorship of Adamawa State, North East Nigeria.[1]


Ribadu studied law at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State from 1980 until 1983, receiving a Bachelor of Laws degree. Following a year at the Nigerian Law School, he was called to Bar in 1984. He also earned a Master of Laws degree from the same university. He is a TED Fellow and a Senior Fellow in St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, UK.

Corruption and the EFCC[edit]

The Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed him to the chairmanship of the EFCC in 2003 and reappointed him in 2007, as well as promoting him to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police.[2] The promotion on 9 April 2007, three weeks before newly elected President Umaru Yar'Adua was sworn-in, was later challenged on the basis that it was "illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, and of no legal effect."[3] In December 2007 Mike Okiro, Inspector-General of Police, stated that Ribadu would be removed as EFCC chairman for a one-year training course.[4]

Career in law enforcement[edit]

On 20 October 2006, Nuhu Ribadu told the BBC that over 380 billion dollars had been stolen or wasted by Nigerian governments since independence in 1960.[5] Under Ribadu's administration, the EFCC charged prominent bankers, former State governors, ministers, Senators, high-ranking political party members, commissioners of Police, and advance fee fraud ("419") gang operators.[6] The EFCC issued thousands of indictments and achieved about 270 convictions. One notable case was that of his boss, the then Inspector-General of the Nigerian Police Force, Mr Tafa Balogun, who was convicted, jailed and made to return £150 million under a plea bargain.[7]

Ribadu's achievements in the EFCC included the de-listing of Nigeria from the FATF List of Non-Cooperative Countries & Territories, admission into the prestigious Egmont Group and the withdrawal of the US Treasury FINCEN Advisory on Nigeria. They helped make the EFCC the foremost Anti-Corruption Enforcement Agency on the continent, cementing Ribadu's reputation in the world as a respected anti-corruption crusader.

Nuhu Ribadu's evidence helped prosecute foreign businesses who offered bribes while doing business in Nigeria.[citation needed] Ribadu has however been accused of double standard and insincerity in his war against corruption. Many observed that Ribadu went after perceived enemies of his boss, Obasanjo, while shielding the friends of the former president.[8] Notable among his critics is radical Lagos lawyer, Fetus Keyamo who has described the withdrawal of charges against Ribadu as totally wrong, very insensitive, entirely unwise and ill-advised.[9][10] So far, none of the accusations of corruption have been substantiated. Several newspapers that have led in the criticism of Ribadu are owned by individuals who were accused of corruption charges.[citation needed]

Nuhu regularly inspires youths to become the change they seek. At the fourth edition of "Project Mentor-Me" organised by Group of Patriotic Corpers (GPC), a non-profit group in Abuja, he got the audience to take a critical look at their life choices and how it shapes their future. He was supported by Blossom Nnodim who is particularly known for her Social Media for Social Good messages.[11]

Bribery and persecution[edit]

During the course of his duty Mr Ribadu was offered bribes to pervert the course of justice, amongst these was a State governor who offered Mr Ribadu of $15 million and a house abroad.[12] Interviewed from Washington D.C. on the BBC's Hardtalk programme, Ribadu said that he took the money and used the bribe as evidence to prosecute the state governor.[13] This claim has however been refuted by the ex-governor who noted that the fact the Ribadu put the money in the CBN is not a proof that he gave the money.[14] Mr Ribadu escaped two assassination attempts in Nigeria before he left the country for the United Kingdom in early 2009.[citation needed]

In December 2007, Inspector-General of Police Mike Okiro ordered that Ribadu be temporarily removed from the position of EFCC chairman and ordered him to attend the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos, Plateau State for a mandatory one-year course.[4] The decision was criticised by, among others, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, House of Representatives members, and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) national chairman Edwin Ume-Ezeoke as politically motivated and/or likely to set back the fight against corruption.[15] On 22 December 2008, as widely predicted, he was dismissed from the Nigerian Police force by the Nigerian Police Service Commission (PSC). He left Nigeria and in April assumed a fellowship at the Center for Global Development.[16] He has since returned to join the ACN as a presidential aspirant in the 2011 general elections.

International awards[edit]

On 15 April 2008, Nuhu Ribadu received the World Bank's 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service, for having led a courageous anti-corruption drive in Nigeria, as Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).[17]

On 4 August 2008, the Police Service Commission in Nigeria announced the demotion of Mr. Ribadu from Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) to Deputy Commissioner of Police. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had promoted Ribadu to AIG weeks before the end of his tenure in office in 2007.[18]

On 22 November 2008, his graduation from the NIPSS Kuru, Plateau State was aborted at the last minute. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who was initially seated in the hall along with other graduands, was ordered out of the hall allegedly on orders from top administration officials.[citation needed] There were condemnations from all over the world for his treatment.[citation needed]

On 8 December 2018, he bagged a global lifetime achievement award on anti-corruption campaign.[19] The award, which was administered by Qatar-based think-tank, Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Centre (ROLACC) .


  1. ^ "Ribadu dumps APC, joins PDP - Premium Times Nigeria". 16 August 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Nigeria anti-graft tsar promoted". BBC News. BBC. 11 April 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Only VP can withdraw Ribadu from NIPSS – PSC chairman". Nigerian Observer. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  4. ^ a b Omonobi, Kingsley; Emmanuel Ulayi (27 December 2007). "EFCC: Okiro confirms Ribadu's exit". Vanguard Online. Vanguard Media. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  5. ^ "Nigerian leaders 'stole' $380bn". BBC. BBC News. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  6. ^ "Malam Nuhu Ribadu: The crime burster". Vanguard Online. Vanguard Media. 1 January 2006.
  7. ^ "Uncertainty over Tafa Balogun's loot". The News Planetario. 24 May 2009. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Interview". 29 March 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 14 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ [2] Archived 2 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Nuhu Ribadu, Emeka Okoli & Blossom Nnodim to Speak at the Group Of Patriotic Corpers Mentorship Event "From Talk 2 Action" in Abuja – Saturday 17th August 2013". Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Corruption Case Exposes Scope of Bribery in Nigeria". 24 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  13. ^ Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "huhuonline". 13 December 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  15. ^ Gabriel, Chioma; Emmanuel Aziken and Leon Usigbe (29 December 2007). "Soyinka, Reps, others condemn Ribadu's removal". Vanguard Online. Vanguard Media. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  16. ^ "Nuhu Ribadu" Center for Global Development, accessed 22 February 2010
  17. ^ [3] Archived 12 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ [4] Archived 15 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Bivan, Nathaniel (8 December 2018). "Ribadu bags global 'lifetime achievement' award". Daily Trust. Daily trust. Retrieved 7 January 2019.

External links[edit]