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Profile Of Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser

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Nuhu Ribadu

Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

The newly-appointed National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, was born in Yola, Adamawa State, on 21 November, 1960.

He attended Aliyu Mustapha Primary School, Yola from 1966 to 1973 and Yelwa Government Secondary School, Yola from 1973-1977. Between 1978 and 1980, Mr Ribadu was at the College of Preliminary Studies, CPS, Yola, for his A-level studies.

In 1980, he gained admission to study law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating in 1983. He graduated from the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in 1984. He joined the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) immediately after his national youth service.

Mr Ribadu holds an LLM degree with emphasis on the jurisprudence of corruption in Nigeria from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. In 2008, he was at the Harvard Business School where he did a programme on the strategic management of law enforcement agencies.

The name Nuhu Ribadu has become a household name in Nigeria and beyond on account of his glorious public service record and personal integrity. A trained lawyer and fearless crime fighter, Mr Ribadu has carved a niche for himself as someone who is patriotic, passionate, honest, courageous and compassionate.

He is the pioneer Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the government commission tasked with countering corruption and fraud which he literally transformed into one of the most effective and renowned anti-graft agencies in modern history. Yet, his major contribution to the anti-corruption crusade was his selflessness, resilience and exemplary conduct in his spirited fight against the cankerworm.

With uncommon commitment and dedication to duty, Mr Ribadu worked assiduously to clean the Augean stable created by graft and fraud.

He courageously brought to book hundreds of fraudsters, scores of high profile looters and economic saboteurs in spite of temptation, booby traps and threats to life.

In three years, the EFCC, under his leadership, built the now most celebrated Crimes Training and Research Institute in the West African region. The agency also recorded over 200 criminal convictions under his leadership.

In acknowledgement of these rare achievements, Mr Ribadu was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), in March 2007. The African Union (AU) put him on its advisory board on anti-corruption matters; and he was invited to join the advisory board of the Friends of the World Bank/UNODC initiative on Stolen Asset Recovery.

Mr Ribadu is a recipient of several awards as a police officer, prosecutor and chairman of the EFCC. He received the Inspector General of Police Awards in 1997, 1998 and 2000, and the Special Commendation of the President in 2005, for the successful prosecution of several advanced fee fraud cases, banking fraud and sundry economic crimes. He was also specially commended by the Accountant General of the Federation for successfully prosecuting some corrupt public servants in 1999.

Since 2004, notable newspapers and magazines in Nigeria have repeatedly voted Mr Ribadu as Man of the Year, in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a committed crusader against corruption and other related crimes.

In 2008, Mr Ribadu completed the senior executive course of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies where he was conferred with the Membership of the National Institute, MNI. In June 2010, Mr Ribadu was awarded the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by the Babcock University, Ogun State, in recognition of his “resolute courage” as well as his “fierce stance against corruption in the face of sponsored disgrace and certain death that has resulted into positive changes and global acclaim hitherto considered impossible.”

In 2012, Mr Ribadu left a United Nations assignment in Afghanistan to take up a special inquest into government’s revenue from the oil sector, an assignment he handled with his characteristic passion and dexterity, turning in a report that has since become a reference point on reforming Nigeria’s oil industry.

In his quest for higher call to service, Mr Ribadu has since 2010 been involved in active politics. He was named NSA a few days after he was appointed the security adviser to the president.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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Otedola, Zenith Bank settle out-of-court

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The Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division, dismissed the case on Thursday on receiving a notice of discontinuance from the plaintiffs.

Femi Otedola, the chairman of FBN Holdings and majority shareholder of Geregu Plc, and some of his companies have opted for an out-of-court settlement with Zenith Bank Plc.

Otedola was involved in a legal dispute with the bank over alleged “fraudulent transactions” on his company’s accounts.

Court papers obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Lagos Division, where Mr Otedola and his companies filed the suit against the lender on 12 March, dismissed the case on Thursday, 13 June, on receiving a notice of discontinuance from the plaintiffs.

Zenon Petroleum & Gas Limited, Seaforce Shipping Co. Limited, Luzon Oil & Gas Limited, Garment Care and Mr Otedola were the plaintiffs, while Zenith Bank, Quantum Zenith Securities & Investment Limited, Veritas Registrars Limited and Central Securities Clearing System Plc were the defendants.

According to a court document, Justice A.O. Faji discontinued the lawsuit after the counsel for the first to third defendants and the counsel for the plaintiffs asked for the matter to be dismissed, with the “counsel for the fourth defendant not objecting.”

Details

Mr Otedola and his companies initiated legal action against Zenith Bank and the other defendants in March, claiming that the lender disposed of his shares in the bank without authorisation, manipulated the companies’ bank accounts and fabricated some documents to conceal the alleged crimes.

He accused the lender of wrongfully calculating his debts before selling them to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which the bank set up to buy the non-performing loans in the books of banks with the intention of recovering them thereafter.

Zenon had claimed that the letters of credit that led to the bad loans AMCON acquired were opened before the corporation took over the debt in December 2011. The company stopped operating the account after AMCON’s intervention.

According to a document seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the overdue on Zenon’s account at the point AMCON took over the liabilities was N39 billion. Zenon said Zenith Bank offered the debt to the corporation at N49 billion. AMCON ended up paying the bank N44.1 billion for the debt.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told PREMIUM TIMES in May that Mr Otedola chose to take legal action against the bank after several failed reconciliation attempts. During the month, both parties held three meetings, none yielding the desired results.

“It is clear that Zenith Bank Plc is not sincere in resolving this issue out of court and as such a time-wasting exercise,” one of the sources said.

“At this juncture, we have resolved to pursue our claims via the judiciary, law enforcement, the CBN and the court of public opinion as we know that our claims are very genuine.”

According to a document detailing the deliberations of both parties at a meeting held on 20 May, Zenith Bank agreed to refund the N205 million it wrongfully debited to Zenon’s account with compounded accrued interest using a bankdraft.

Seaforce Shipping Company Limited, owned by the billionaire tycoon, said Zenith Bank presented some statements of account claiming that it owed the bank N5.9 billion as of February 2024. It added that Zenith Bank abandoned the claim after the company showed proof that Seaforce’s account was in credit as of 2018.

A source said Zenith Bank sold the 415 million shares that Zenon held in Zenith Bank for N4.9 billion in December 2010, noting that the shares were repurchased in the following month for N5.4 billion, triggering a net loss of N142.9 million.

He further disclosed that related transactions were carried out on Mr Otedola’s account, causing a net loss of N61.5 million and a combined loss of N205.4 million in both cases.

Isyaku Mohammed, the commissioner of police in charge of administration at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, summoned the managing director of Zenith Bank on 16 May over what he described as an alleged unauthorised debit to Zenon’s account.

“This office is investigating an alleged case of fraudulent misrepresentation, wrongful debit and unauthorised transactions referred from the assistant inspector general of police, FCID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, involving your financial institution,” the letter, a copy obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, read.

“A precis of the petition at disposal reveals that sometime in 2011, an unauthorised withdrawal was carried out on the account of Zenon Petroleum Gas Limited with number 10110385211 to the tune of Two Hundred and Five Million, Three Hundred and Forty-six Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira (N205,346,573.00) without justification.”

The letter stated that Zenith Bank wrongfully opened some letters of credit after AMCON acquired the debt in 2011, which led to unsolicited loan disbursement that further plunged Zenon into indebtedness.

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