Nuhu Ribadu was born in Yola, Adamawa State, on November 21, 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, Ribadu was at the College of Preliminary Studies, CPS, Yola, for his A-level studies. In 1980, he gained admission to study law at 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 Police immediately after his national service.
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, Ribadu has carved a niche for himself as someone who is patriotic, passionate, honest, courageous and compassionate.
He is the pioneer Executive Chairman of 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 tribute to anti-corruption crusade was his selflessness, resilience and exemplary conduct in his spirited fight against the cankerworm.
With uncommon commitment and dedication to duty, Ribadu worked assiduously to clean the Aegean stable created by grafts and frauds.
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, Ribadu was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), in March 2007. The African Union 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.
Ribadu is a recipient of several awards as a police officer, prosecutor and Chairman of EFCC. He received the Inspector General of Police Awards in 1997, 1998 and 2000, and the Special Commendation of Mr. President in 2005, for the successful prosecution of several advanced fee fraud, banking fraud and sundry economic crime cases. 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 Ribadu as Man of the Year, in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a committed crusader against corruption and other related crimes.
In 2008, 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, Ribadu was awarded the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by 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, 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 reference point on reforming the Nigeria’s oil industry.
In a quest for higher call to service, Ribadu has since 2010 being involved in active politics.