by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Reuben Abati, spokesperson to the Nigerian president, has announced that Farida Waziri, the Chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) has been “relieved” of her appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan. The agency’s deputy, Ibrahim Lamurde, has been appointed as the acting chairman. Abati did not state the president’s reason for firing Waziri.
It would be recalled that US diplomats criticized Waziri in leaked cables for not being prepared for assignments and possibly being a puppet in the hands of politicians. There have also been allegations of corruption against her and the commission’s operatives, although none of them have been proven.
Just last month, members of the House of Representatives tried to impeach her. The group which was opposed to her position as the head of the anti-graft agency sponsored a bill to fight a renewed term for the security chief. Their argument hinged on Section 12 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act 2003, to cause the ouster of EFCC chairman Mrs. Farida Waziri.
Section 12 (f) of the Principal Act is amended to say the boss of the EFCC must be an assistant inspector-general (AIG) of police, that means the EFCC boss must be a substantive and serving AIG. Farida Waziri retired when she was an acting Assistant Inspector-General of Police.
Chief (Mrs.) Farida Mzamber Waziri succeeded Nuhu Ribadu as the appointed Executive Chairperson of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2008. Her tenure was to expire next year.