Ex-Nigeria anti-graft chief may return from exile

Nigeria’s respected former anti-corruption chief Nuhu Ribadu said he is ready to return home after over a year in voluntary exile, and would be willing to serve under Acting President Goodluck Jonathan if asked.

Nigerian authorities dropped a legal case against Ribadu last week, potentially paving the way for his return to help Jonathan fight graft in one of the world’s most tainted countries.

“Of course I would like to come back, but it was difficult because my life was threatened,” Ribadu told News Agency. “The threat is now gone. I believe it is time for me to come back,” he in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. on Monday.

Ribadu won international praise for his arrests of suspects and seizures of assets as the first chief of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But he also made enemies for pursuing cases against powerful state governors and was fired in late 2007 soon after President Umaru Yar’Adua took power. He fled Nigeria for Britain and the United States in January 2009, saying his life was in danger.

Ribadu said he has not spoken directly with Jonathan, who assumed executive powers from ailing President Yar’Adua two months ago, and has not been offered a specific government position.



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