Nuhu Ribadu Biography: Age, Career, Family

Nuhu Ribadu: The Anti-Corruption Crusader and National Security Adviser

Nuhu Ribadu Biography
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu is a Nigerian politician and retired police officer who has made a remarkable impact in the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance in Nigeria. He is currently serving as the National Security Adviser to President Bola Tinubu, after being appointed on June 26, 2023.

Nuhu Ribadu Basic Biography / Wiki


Nuhu Ribadu

Age/Date of Birth

63 years (2023)

21 November 1960


Lawyer, Police Officer

Political party


State of Origin

Adamawa, Nigeria


Zara Ribadu


Sadiq, Mahmoud,

Fatima, Ahmad and Tahir

Net Worth



Early Life and Education

Nuhu Ribadu was born on November 21, 1960, in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State in Northeast Nigeria. He is of mixed ethnicity, as his father is Fulani and his mother is Hausa. He grew up in a Muslim family and has six siblings. He attended Aliyu Mustapha Primary School in Yola from 1966 to 1973 and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He then proceeded to Yelwa Government Secondary School in Yola from 1973 to 1977 and obtained his West African School Certificate. He did his A-level studies at the College of Preliminary Studies in Yola from 1978 to 1980.

Ribadu studied law at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State from 1980 to 1983 and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He then attended the Nigerian Law School in Lagos and was called to the bar in 1984. He also obtained a Master of Laws degree from Ahmadu Bello University in 1990.

Police Career and Anti-Corruption Campaign

Ribadu joined the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) immediately after his national youth service in 1985. He rose through the ranks and held various positions, such as Divisional Crime Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Superintendent of Police, Chief Superintendent of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police, and Head of the Legal and Prosecution Department. He also served as a prosecutor at the Failed Banks Tribunal and the Special Military Tribunal on Abacha Loot Recovery.

In 2003, Ribadu was appointed as the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), a newly established agency tasked with combating corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria. Under his leadership, the EFCC investigated and prosecuted several high-profile cases involving politicians, businessmen, public officials, and foreign nationals. Some of the notable cases include those of former governors James Ibori, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Joshua Dariye, Orji Uzor Kalu, Saminu Turaki, Chimaroke Nnamani, Boni Haruna, Jolly Nyame, Rashidi Ladoja, Ayo Fayose, Lucky Igbinedion, Peter Odili, Adamu Mu’azu among others.

Ribadu’s anti-corruption crusade earned him national and international recognition and accolades. He was awarded the Inspector General of Police Awards in 1997, 1998, and 2000; the Special Commendation of the President in 2005; the World Bank’s Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service in 2007; the Transparency International Integrity Award in 2008; the Global Peace Award in 2010; and the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) by Babcock University in 2010. He was also voted Man of the Year by several newspapers and magazines in Nigeria since 2004.

However, Ribadu’s anti-corruption campaign also attracted enemies and opposition from powerful interests who felt threatened by his actions. He faced several challenges and threats to his life and career, such as assassination attempts, false accusations, demotion, dismissal, exile, and harassment. He was forced to resign from the EFCC in 2007 after he was accused of corruption by the Attorney General of the Federation Michael Aondoakaa. He was later exonerated from these charges by a presidential panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami.

He was also demoted from the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police in 2008 by the Police Service Commission. He was later reinstated to his former rank by a court order in 2010. He was also dismissed from the police force in 2008 for failing to attend a training course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies. He challenged this decision in court and was reinstated in 2010. He went into exile in 2008 after he received death threats and assassination attempts. He returned to Nigeria in 2010 after he was granted amnesty by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Political Career and Controversies

Ribadu ventured into politics in 2010 when he declared his intention to run for the presidency of Nigeria under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He emerged as the presidential candidate of the ACN after other aspirants withdrew from the race. He ran on a platform of anti-corruption, good governance, security, and development.

He promised to reform the electoral system, fight insecurity, create jobs, improve education, health, and infrastructure, and diversify the economy. However, he lost the election to the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He came third with about 2.1 million votes, behind Jonathan who had about 22.5 million votes and Muhammadu Buhari who had about 12.2 million votes.

In 2014, Ribadu defected from the ACN to the PDP and became the governorship candidate of the PDP in Adamawa State for the 2015 election. He said he joined the PDP because he believed it was a party that could bring positive change to Nigeria. He also said he wanted to serve his people and contribute to their development. However, he lost the election to Jibrilla Bindow of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He came second with about 229,000 votes, behind Bindow who had about 362,000 votes.

In 2016, Ribadu returned to the APC and became a member of its Board of Trustees. He said he rejoined the APC because he believed it was a party that could deliver on its promises to Nigerians. He also said he wanted to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda and his efforts to tackle insecurity and revive the economy.

In 2019, Ribadu contested for the governorship of Adamawa State again under the APC. He faced stiff competition from other aspirants within his party, such as Governor Jibrilla Bindow and former Governor Murtala Nyako’s son Abdulaziz Nyako. He eventually lost the primary election to Bindow who had about 193,000 votes, while Ribadu had about 8,000 votes.

In 2023, Ribadu made another attempt to become the governor of Adamawa State under the APC. He faced a formidable opponent in Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, popularly known as Binani, who was a senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial District and a close ally of President Bola Tinubu. Ribadu lost the election to Binani who had about 1.2 million votes, while Ribadu had about 900,000 votes.

On June 26, 2023, President Bola Tinubu appointed Ribadu as his National Security Adviser (NSA), after he had earlier appointed him as his Special Adviser on Security. This appointment came as a surprise to many Nigerians who wondered why Tinubu chose Ribadu for such a sensitive position despite their political differences in the past. Some speculated that Tinubu wanted to reward Ribadu for his loyalty and support during his presidential campaign. Others suggested that Tinubu wanted to use Ribadu’s expertise and experience in fighting corruption and insecurity in Nigeria.


Here are some of the common questions that people ask about Nuhu Ribadu:

How old is Nuhu Ribadu?

Nuhu Ribadu is 63 years old as of 2023. He was born on November 21, 1960.

What is Nuhu Ribadu’s net worth?

He makes money from his political and security career, as well as his investments and businesses.

Is Nuhu Ribadu married?

Yes, Nuhu Ribadu is married to Zara Ribadu, a lawyer and human rights activist. They got married in 1989 and have four children: two sons and two daughters.

Who is Nuhu Ribadu’s father?

Nuhu Ribadu’s father is Alhaji Ahmadu Ribadu, a prominent Fulani leader and politician who served as the first Minister of Defence in Nigeria from 1957 to 1960. He was also a founding member of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) and a close associate of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and the Premier of Northern Nigeria.

What is Nuhu Ribadu’s religion?

Nuhu Ribadu is a Muslim who practices Islam. He belongs to the Sunni sect of Islam and follows the Maliki school of jurisprudence.


Nuhu Ribadu is a respected and influential figure in Nigeria who has dedicated his life to fighting corruption and promoting good governance. He has served as the Chairman of the EFCC, the Presidential Candidate of the ACN, the Governorship Candidate of the PDP and the APC, and the National Security Adviser to President Bola Tinubu. He has faced several challenges and controversies in his career, but he has also achieved several successes and accolades. He is a role model to many Nigerians who aspire to be honest and patriotic leaders.

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