[QODLink]
Africa

Ex-head of Nigeria's anti-graft body defects

Nuhu Ribadu joins scandal-hit ruling party to contest state election in move seen as boost for president.

Last updated: 21 Aug 2014 11:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Ribadu was head of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [Al Jazeera]

Nigeria's former anti-corruption chief Nuhu Ribadu has defected to the ruling People's Democratic Party to contest a state election.

The move is seen as a boost for President Goodluck Jonathan, whose PDP has been reeling from high profile corruption scandals.

Analysts said his move was a big blow to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Reuters news agency reported.

A report by Ribadu's team in 2012 showed Nigeria lost out on tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues over the last decade from deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials.

The PDP secretary for Adamawa state, which holds a by-election on October 11, told Reuters that Ribadu had applied to contest the primaries on a PDP ticket.

Jonathan and the PDP face a national election in 2015 that is likely to be the most closely fought since democracy was restored in 1999.

Ribadu, who ran for president against Jonathan in 2011 elections but only got 5.4 percent of the vote, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo hired Ribadu as chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from April 2003 to December 2007 and he earned a reputation for going after seeming untouchables in the fight against rampant corruption, even at risk to his own life.

Jonathan has been beleaguered by defections of senior figures and criticism of his government's failure to deal with Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

But several senior figures have defected to the PDP from the APC, underscoring how fluid Nigerian politics can be as the elite jostle for position ahead of a poll. They include popular two-term ex-governor of Kano state Ibrahim Shakarau.

"In terms of electorate Ribadu hasn't got much influence, but he was seen as clean and anti-corruption", which had benefited the opposition's fight on an anti-graft ticket, Lagos-based consultancy 46-Parallels partner Kayode Akindele said.

"It shows there's no political ideology. Everyone just uses parties as a platform ... APC could see more defections if the PDP is seen as being in the ascendancy," he said.

The PDP also overturned formerly opposition held Ekiti state in a governorship poll in June.

361

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeeras new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.