FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiFriday, August 8, 2008
ubochit@yahoo.com
Bonn, Germany

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NUHU RIBADU: IS YARÁDUA LEADING A GOVERNMENT OR A GANG?

I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed. (Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)
Few are so wicked as to take delight in crimes unprofitable. (John Dryden)
No wickedness has any ground of reason. (Titus Livy)
Are you call'd forth from out a world of men, to slay the innocent? (William Shakespeare)
Oh, how cowardly is wickedness always. (Statius (Publius Papanius Statius)
To harbor hatred and animosity in the soul makes one irritable, gloomy, and prematurely old. (Berthold Auerbach)
We hate some persons because we do not know them; and we will not know them because we hate them. (Charles Caleb Colton)
They hate whom they fear. (Quintus Ennius)
Whom they have injured they also hate. [Lat., Quos laeserunt et oderunt.] (Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated. (George Bernard Shaw)
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Bible, Matthew (ch. V, v. 10)
It is an inherent and inseparable inconvenience in persecution that it knows not where to stop. (Robert Hall)
Wherever you see persecution, there is more than a probability that truth lies on the persecuted side. (Hugh Latimer)
Persecution is not wrong because it is cruel; but it is cruel because it is wrong. (Archbishop Richard Whately)
The lizard said that the tongue doesn’t hold hot topics for long (Ngwere nsi la okwu ndi okü ejighi ano odo la ire) (Igbo Proverb in Ngwa dialect)


Nuhu Ribadu


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skipped the Part 11 of my on-going article for now to comment on this unfolding story. The story is too hot to be ignored.

The Punch Newspapers of August 6, 2008 with the caption “Ribadu, dead police officer, others demoted” wrote:

“The Police Service Commission on Tuesday announced the demotion of the former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, from the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Also demoted from the rank of commissioners to deputy commissioners are the late Mr. Haz Iwendi, Mr. Solomon Arase, Mr. Amodu Ali, Mr. Columbus Okaro, Mr. Olayinka Balogun, and Mr. Adebayo Ajileye. Iwendi, a former Force Public Relations Officer, was until his death on May 5, 2008, the Commissioner, Kaduna State Police Command”.

This news came to me not as a shock because I saw it coming after getting wind of it some months back through a high placed source. I was only praying that it never comes. Infact the news removed some steam from me because all along, my friends have been telling me to give up hope for a better Nigeria because for them it will never get better. But, I ´ve been trying to convince them not to turn their back on Nigeria, that things will surely work out well soon. Some of my friends and acquaintances even went as far as telling me that they stopped reading news from Nigeria because each time they do, they developed high blood pressure. I have been optimistic all along, but, lo, my friend, to be very sincere with you, I am now as pessimistic as any one can be; I see no more hope for Nigeria. Anybody hoping that Nigeria will change on its own need to re-think! With these bandits in power, we are in for a big trouble. We have no government at all, what we have is a band of thieves that will bulldoze away anything or person that tries to stop them from stealing Nigeria more dry.

I am angry, I am sad, my heart bleeds, it’s heavy on my heart; my thoughts is with Nuhu Ribadu, a man that so much loves Nigeria that he put his life on the line for the poor. Nuhu is loved by the masses and hated by the ruling cabal because he tried to stop them from selling Nigeria to the highest bidder, he asked them to use the commonwealth for the betterment of their constituencies, he told them that more than $400 billion of the national wealth have been stolen since independence and that the waste is enough, that they should start working for the common good. That’s how Nuhu offended the rogues that called themselves the ruling elite, that’s why they want his head on a platter, that’s why they are frustrating him, that’s why they want to make him crack, that’s why they want to make him to go mental. Those after Nuhu are taking it so fast; it’s not up to six months that he was removed from the job he was doing well, now they have demoted him two ranks, they will soon send him away from the national Institute for Policy and strategic studies (NIPSS) where they sent him to and in few days time, they might charge him for treason to keep him away for life because he knows what many do not know, because he’s privy to what so many don’t have knowledge about, because he knows what transpired behind the curtains in Aso Rock and the horse trading that happened and how the incumbent president emerged. The presidency is afraid that he will spill the bean, they are afraid that he will open the can of worm, they are afraid because they know that he is the most popular Nigerian now and that he has the goodwill of Nigerians, that the sky will be his limit in Nigeria if left “unchained”. They want to put him away or even kill him. Why do good things never last?

That is typical of Nigeria, a country that sacrifices its best for mediocre, that’s how the members of the kangaroo senate committee on FCT made a caricature of themselves by saying that they are banning El Rufai from holding political office. El-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu are in a class of their own, they are two of the best the north and Nigeria can now offer, they have no match but that’s paining a lot of people, those criminals in power see this trio as an obstacle in their quest for an “everlasting” political power and must be done away with, through any means. It is only a campaign of calumny and reprisal against patriotic and upright men that really wanted to extricate Nigeria from the clutches of 419ners that have taken up addresses at Aso Rock, National Assembly, Abuja, state government houses and local government headquarters all over Nigeria respectively.

With these kinds of people calling themselves the ruling class, there is no hope for Nigeria; instead of going forward, Nigeria will be going backward. All Nigerians of goodwill should join hands in whatever way to stop the country from sliding more into the abyss it is heading to; all Nigerians should start shouting, if that will help, to see if those imbeciles in authority positions will listen, otherwise we all are losing a country we love, to people that have no morals, to people that have heart of stone, to people that only care about themselves, their families and friends; to people that don’t give a damn if every other Nigerian dies off. We are in trouble, let’s join hands to rescue Nigeria, let’s join hands and send an unmistakable message to the cabal in Abuja and the states capital.

This demotion of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu by the Police Service Commission from Assistant Inspector General to Deputy Commissioner along with 139 other policemen sparked off a plethora of condemnation more than those rogues envisaged. It is commendable that many Nigerians are condemning this victimisation being meted to Nuhu Ribadu and others.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) described the demotion as absolutely bizarre “I condemn as absolutely bizarre the demotion of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu from Assistant Inspector-General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police after his illegal and unjustifiable removal as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s non-criminal offence for these atrocious and oppressive actions of the Federal Government against him is his (Ribadu’s) honest character and the unprecedented arrest, arraignment and trial of some powerful bigmen for corruption.

I want President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to realize that any government that punishes honesty sows the seeds of its inevitable destruction by corruption.”

Afenifere in its statement signed by National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said: the demotion of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is an embarrassment this administration will have to contend with.

Afenifere said it was “quite uncomfortable” with the action. For them, the administration accepted Ribadu as AIG when it sent him to the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru for a course that would qualify him for his new rank, wondering why the policy somersault that led to his demotion.

While reading another meaning into the exercise, Afenifere cried foul that “about 40 of the demoted officers, compared to nine from the North, come from the South-West geo-political zone, which means they are all Yoruba.”

The group alleged that the exercise was another manipulation to ensure that a certain ethnic stock continued to take all the sensitive positions in the force now and in the future.

The group observed further that: The late Haz Iwendi was buried as a Commissioner of Police with full honours. Are they going to exhume his body and rebury him with his new rank?

If the excuse for these demotions was that the officers were promoted out of rank, why is the name of Mr Mike Okiro (IGP) not on this list? It is on record that he was promoted from CP to DIG without ever being an AIG; even his confirmation as IG by-passed Onovo who was senior to him.

From all the above, our deductions are that these exercises were carried out for two reasons: ethnic manipulations of the force and humiliation of Ribadu.

A human rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) introduced a new dimension to the development as it has forwarded a petition to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mrs Margaret Sekaggya on the alleged threat of arrest and demotion of the EFCC former boss, urging her to prevail on the government to stop harassment and intimidation of the former anti-graft agency boss.

In a petition dated 6 August, 2008 and signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said, “The Nigerian government justified his (Ribadu) demotion on the ground that his ‘promotion was irregular and done without regard for the laws guiding such exercise.”

However, SERAP believed that the demotion was in bad faith and part of a persistent smear campaign against Mr Ribadu for his anti-corruption campaign while in office. There are credible reports that while the government was announcing Mr Ribadu’s demotion it was also making attempts to arrest him in Kuru, Jos, purportedly for ‘questioning’.

The organization also said that it was deeply concerned by the retaliatory measures taken by the Yar’Adua government to arrest and demote one of the most efficient, focused consistent and hardworking anti-corruption campaigners in our country. The threats of arrest and demotion not only aim to continue the victimization of Mallam Ribadu for his anti-corruption activities as Chairman of the EFCC but also to harass, intimidate and frustrate the work of other anti-corruption campaigners and institutions.

We are seriously concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr Ribadu, and fear that continuing attacks against him are a reprisal for his efficient and diligent prosecution of official and political corruption while in office, the organization added.

Pat Utomi said that while it was good to follow due process, one must realise the grievous effect the action would have on the Police.

If Ribadu goes back to the force, what will happen to his subordinates when he was AIG? The Commission should have let sleeping dogs lie’’ he said.

A Non Government Organisation, Children's Anti Corruption Initiative, said the demotion of Police officers, especially, Ribadu who performed creditably during his stint at EFCC, from AIG to DCP is demoralising, not only to him, Ribadu, but to all Public Servants who may wish to use all at there disposal to fight corruption. It will also affect negatively the psyche of Nigeria youth who are of the believe that the only way up is through corruption“, the group said.

The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Plateau State said they are confused on what to do over Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who is undergoing a course at the institute.

A source from the school was quoted as having said:

“The development in the police is a surprise to us here. They were the one who sent him here and he is more than half way through his programme, so what do we do? This is the first time we are facing this kind of situation. I am waiting for instructions from above. I don’t think it is wise for us to say anything on the issue, moreso, that the police authority has not briefed us on the demotion. We are just reading it on the pages of the newspapers. We cannot just say go away on the basis of what we read in the dailies. I am waiting for directive from above and until I hear from above, I cannot do otherwise,”

Bamidele Aturu said that “the government has taken a decision that will hunt it for a long time for many reasons. First, many Nigerians will not be convinced that this is not a continuation of the war against Ribadu for the role he played while he was the EFCC chairman. Further, he said, the argument about the rule of law is not very honest. I stand to be corrected; there is no law in the police force or Nigeria that stipulates how an officer on the rank of ACP is to be promoted. Once you get to the rank of ACP, promotions and appointments become political. Many officers have been promoted from CP to DIG, like the present IG, Mike Okiro. He never was an AIG. Why was he not demoted. Tarfa Balogun, former IG was promoted from AIG to IG. He was never a DIG and there are many other instances. “All this talk about the man being favoured is not a serious argument, given that he was EFCC chairman at the time and many Nigerians will smell a rat and I think the Police Service Commission has only been used as an instrument by those who held the President hostage. I advise them to reverse what they have done because it smacks of witch-hunting and will discourage other police officers to work for the country. In spite of the mistakes of Ribadu, which I had pointed out in the past, I think they are carrying the attack on him too far,” he added.

President of the West African Bar Association (WABA), Mr. Femi Falana said the demotion of Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and other police officers is illegal and should be reviewed. Falana said that the Police Service Commission has no such powers to demote police officers already promoted without committing any criminal offence.

The statement said: “Purported reduction in the rank of Mr. Nuhu Ribadu and 139 other police officers by the Police Service Commission on the ground that the Police Authorities who promoted them a few years ago did not follow “due process” is illegal and unconstitutional.

Having been made to wear their ranks, given statutory responsibilities and paid salaries and other allowances in line with their promotions the Police Service Commission cannot, in law, demote such officers by virtue of Section 151 of the Evidence Act which provides as follows:

When one person has, by his declaration, act or omission, intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief, neither he nor his representative in interest shall be allowed, in any proceedings between himself and such person or such person’s representative in interest, to deny the truth of that thing.

Since the said officers have acted on the fact of their promotion the Police Authorities are stopped from denying the fact of such promotion.

This president is not yet serious with governance; I hate hearing him claiming falsely to be a servant leader and defender of rule of law. I hate to hear the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General saying rubbish about the rule of law. Now their plans have worked; ex-governors George Akume, Orji Uzoh Kalu, Chimaroke Nnamani, James Ibori, Turaki, etc must now be opening their champagnes, but, let them know that “man proposes but God disposes”, they will never go scout free after shortchanging their people as they did, with or without Nuhu Ribadu, they will face justice one day. This President has actually sold his conscience to those corrupt officials who bankrolled his election. Ribadu should take solace that many Nigerians are solidly behind him; he should understand that such are prices one pays in defending the masses.

The PM News of August 7 2008 with the caption “Ribadu Wanted for Treason” wrote: “The woes of the former boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, are being compounded by the day, following his demotion from Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), along with 139 police officers.

His latest albatross is that he is being wanted by security operatives over what was described as treason. Sources told P.M.News that Ribadu is allegedly in possession of classified documents that he wants to use against the Federal Government.

It was also gathered that information available to the security agencies indicates that Ribadu is trying to influence Supreme Court judges to rule against President Umaru Yar’Adua over his victory in the April 2007 presidential election, which was challenged by Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress and ANPP’s candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

Although the Elections Petitions Tribunal upheld Yar’Adua’s victory, the other candidates challenged the ruling at the Supreme Court, and Ribadu is allegedly trying to influence the judges to rule against Yar’Adua.

Sources said Ribadu, who returned last weekend from Sierra Leone with his course mates at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, where he is undergoing a nine-month capacity building course, was sighted yesterday (August 6, 2008) at NIPSS, but was said to have escaped this morning (August 7, 2008), when operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) went there to arrest him.

He was said to have got wind of the impending arrest and escaped hours before the security operatives swooped on him. Last week SSS operatives also tried to pick him up but he also escaped.

Already, the Federal Government is reported to have given the new EFCC boss, Farida Waziri, the nod to probe the petitions against Ribadu. The petitions border on how he spent the foreign grants he received during his tenure as EFCC boss”

I am blaming Obasanjo for all these nonsense; he failed to do the necessary things he was supposed to do before leaving office. Fate entrusted a lot of responsibilities on him but each time he failed to live up to them. Obasanjo as a president was the only man that would have changed Nigeria for the better, but, he blew it again. His words then were like law, everywhere stays quiet whenever he “coughed”, and he bestrode the landscape like a colossus. He should have used his “larger than life” status then to turn few things around. No one can change Nigeria with a kid’s glove; only the hard way will be good enough for Nigeria. The point I am making is that Obasanjo should have followed his heart by appointing Ribadu as the Inspector General of Police as he wanted to. That would have entailed retiring Okiro and others and Ribadu would have changed the police for the better. Secondly, Obasanjo failed to re-appoint Nuhu Ribadu for a second four-year-term as the EFCC head; otherwise, nobody would have removed him before the term runs out. Obasanjo made a catalogue of mistake and he is paying the price now: He single-handedly crowned YarÁdua and Goodluck president and vice president respectively (two dull guys that weren’t prepared for the high offices they are now occupying and are not ready to change for the better). YarÁdua is paying Obasanjo with “counterfeit” by revising all the policies he put in place as president and his party PDP just stripped him of the Chairman, Board of trustee post. Obasanjo must be licking his wound somewhere now, the blames are entirely his; he really fumbled.

Now I know why good people don’t want anything to do with government, now I understand why people left our governments at all tiers in the hands of drug barons, assassins, 419 kingpins, occultists and ritualists, ex-convicts, morons etc. Nigeria is not worth dying for with the calibre of men at the helm. Ribadu did all for Nigeria only to be demoted and may face treason charges. I don’t see the country “making it” no matter what people say or do, only God can save Nigeria. Let those “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in corridors of power know that with such attitude and frame of mind of theirs, the days of Nigeria are numbered, God will never allow this injustice to continue, let those gangs and cliques occupying the authority positions and using them for their selfish ends think about the consequences of their actions, they are forcing Nigerians to the edge and that can be catastrophic.

For Nuhu Ribadu: the thoughts and prayers of good Nigerians are with you, they can only weaken or frustrate your flesh but not your spirit which I know is still very high. No matter whatever that happens to you, be sure that you are and will always remain in our hearts. You have carved a niche for yourself and nobody can take away that from you; YarÁdua, Aoondakaa, Ibori and others can connive and take away your rank, but, they can’t take away your record and your place in our hearts.

MAY GOD SAVE NUHU RIBADU AND NIGERIA!!!

The thanks is all yours!!!!

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