16 May 2008

Nigeria: Yar'Adua Appoints Farida Waziri EFCC Chairman

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua yesterday approved the appointment of a retired assistant inspector general of police, Mrs. Farida M. Waziri as the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

According to a statement signed by the secretary to the Federal Government, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, the appointment took effect from yesterday.

LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported the move by President Yar'Adua to strengthen the anti-graft commission through the appointment of Farida Waziri, a respected financial crimes detective, within the intelligence circle.

A source told our correspondent last night that the appointment of Farida was not approved without strong competition from other interest groups. For example, while majority of the police authorities was said to have favoured commissioner of police Solomon Arase, the immediate Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to inspector general of police Mike Okiro, the Col. Musa Gwadabe-led group rooted for Mr. Ibrahim Lamurde to continue as acting chairman of the commission. Mrs. Waziri, according to an insider, was hugely supported by most serving governors, across the country.

A thoroughbred financial crimes detective, Mrs. Waziri obtained her first and second law degrees from the University of Lagos, bachelor of law from the Nigeria Law School, Master of Science in strategic studies from the University of Ibadan, and a course in the National War College, Abuja.

"In a career spanning some 35 years of meritorious services, Mrs. Farida Waziri attended various professional and administrative courses at home and abroad, mostly on investigations and operation," the statement by Federal Government stated yesterday.

Mrs. Waziri started her career with the Nigeria Police Force as a recruit in 1965 and rose through the ranks until she retired as an assistant inspector-general of police in the year 2000 on reaching the mandatory retirement point of 35 years' service. She is married and has grown-up children.

The president also yesterday approved the appointment of Mr. Emmanuel Akomaye, whose tenure as member/secretary of the commission expired in April 2008 to continue in the same office in an acting capacity. "Mr. Akomaye is an experienced lawyer who has had a varied experience in private legal practice and corporate legal services, and has been with the commission since 2003", the statement said.

Security sources said last night that the appointment of Farida had sealed up the possibility of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu returning to his duty post at the end of his one-year mandatory course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.

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