Saturday, September 14, 2013

Farida Waziri denies writing Obasanjo, threatens legal action

Mrs Waziri says she never wrote Mr Obasanjo seeking help to extend her tenure.

By Micheal Abimboye, Premium Times
September 14, 2013

Former chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri has disowned a letter she purportedly wrote asking former President Olusegun Obasanjo to intervene to allow her secure a second term.

Mrs Waziri said the letter was “total forgery” and threatened legal action against those responsible for the forgery.

“The letter is a total forgery. I had no such contact or communication with former President Obasanjo,” she told PREMIUM TIMES. “I might consider legal action against them because what they have done is criminal.”

In the letter, printed on a purported EFCC official headed paper, Mrs Waziri allegedly promised to reward the former president by turning the EFCC against his opponents and critics if he would prevail on President Goodluck Jonathan to approve a fresh term for her.
The letter was distributed to media organizations on Friday and has been published on several outlets. PREMIUM TIMES did not publish its contents because it could not immediately confirm its authenticity.

The emergence of the letter, said to have been written in the dying days of Mrs Waziri’s tenure, followed recent exchanges between former President Obasanjo and Mrs Waziri over her credibility and performance as the head of the EFCC.

In separate interviews in Zero Tolerance, a magazine published by the EFCC media unit, Mr. Obasanjo seriously questioned Mrs Waziri’s competence for the anti-corruption top job, and accused her of slowing the gains made by her predecessor, Nuhu Ribadu.

He also suggested that Mrs Waziri was appointed on the recommendation James Ibori, former governor of Delta state, currently in jail for stealing state funds.

The former EFCC boss denied the allegations and insisted she did well as head of the commission. She threatened to expose Mr Obasanjo’s shady past.

The sender of the letter she allegedly wrote to Mr Obasanjo made it clear the note was in response to the threat to expose Mr Obasanjo. He did not respond to further mails.
In the memo, Mrs Waziri purportedly said she could not telephone the ex-president for security concerns due to the nature of her request. She then asked Mr Obasanjo to “compel” President Jonathan to allow her continue in office, promising to go after former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel, for insulting Mr Obasanjo.

To press her point, she recalled the treatment of former House of Representatives speaker, Dimeji Bankole, by the EFCC purportedly as a reaction to Mr Bankole’s disrespect for the former president.

Mrs Waziri disclaimed the content of the letter and accused a “corrupt US-based lawyer and a UK-based blogger” of colluding to forge the letter and circulating it on the Internet.
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