Drama at NIPSS – Ribadu denied graduation, arrested



 

 

NIPSS GRADUATION DRAMA: Ribadu chased out – Whereabouts unknown – He
was arrested – Family alleges

 By Our Reporter – 23.11.2008

 TRIBUNE

 MALLAM Nuhu Ribadu was stopped from being presented for the conferment
of the mni award at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic
Studies (NIPSS) in Jos on Saturday as he was harassed out of the hall by
security operatives.

 Mallam Ribadu, before yesterday, had alerted Nigerians of the plot to
get him arrested and he sought solace in the judiciary, a process that
was on-going before Saturday’s episode.

 Sunday Tribune gathered that Mallam Ribadu, who was in the hall with
his wife as one of the 64 participants at NIPSS to graduate, was
reportedly dragged out of the hall by security operatives at the
ceremony.

 Guests, who were oblivious of what was happening, were alerted to
Ribadu’s absence by the Acting Director of Studies of the
Institute, Dr. Adamu Jika who, while presenting the graduating students
to the Acting Director General, Mr. James Opadiran, for the conferment
of the mni award disclosed that Ribadu and Mr. Denibo Briggs, who was
allegedly caught stealing a camera in China, would not be conferred with
prestigious award on medical grounds and other related issues.

 Sunday Tribune also gathered that Mallam Ribadu, who was present at
the lecture delivered at the institute on Friday did not get wind of the
plan to scheme him out of the graduation ceremony as he was seen taking
pictures with friends, relations and was exchanging banters with fellow
participants at the venue of the ceremony on Saturday morning.

 It was, however, learnt that things took a different turn before the
commencement of the ceremony as he was reportedly advised by friends
that he should leave because he was about to be arrested.

 Soon after, what happened could not be ascertained as at press time
because Ribadu was reportedly being held in his apartment in NIPSS, Jos.

 When Sunday Tribune visited his chalet at N1/2 Circle 12 at the
National Institute, his wife, six children and other relations, who had
thronged NIPSS for the graduation, were seen in a Prado Jeep and other
cars, about leaving.

 One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said since Ribadu
left the venue of the ceremony all efforts to link up with him had been
abortive as none of his phone lines could be reached.

 He said there was the fear that he might have been picked up by law
enforcement agents who had been on his trail for over three weeks.

 A highly dependable source told Sunday Tribune that the decision to
exclude Ribadu from those to be conferred with the mni award was an
order from above and could be linked to his present travail and face off
with his employer, the Nigeria Police, which had earlier demoted him to
the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police from the rank of Assistant
Inspector General of Police.

 Meanwhile, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said yesterday
that it was not aware of the arrest of the former helmsman of the anti
graft agency, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

 Director of Operations of the Commission, Mr. Tunde Ogunshakin told
Sunday Tribune that the commission had no hand in the arrest.

 ——————
 VANGUARD

 Drama at NIPSS: Ribadu denied graduation, arrested

 Written by Taye Obateru
 Sunday, 23 November 2008

 It was anti-climax for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, erstwhile Chairman of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, as his dream
to graduate from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies
(NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State was aborted at the last minute.

 Mallam Nuhu RibaduRibadu, who was initially seated in the hall along
with other graduands, was literarily forced out of the hall as he was
said to have been ordered to leave allegedly on orders from above. There
were speculations that he was arrested and was being detained in his
apartment at NIPSS.

 According to reports, the Attorney General of the Federation, Chief
Michael Kaase Andoakaa (SAN), was present at the time of Ribadu’s
arrest. It was rumoured that Andoakaa ordered the former EFCC
chairman’s arrest.

 Yesterday, a rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability
Project, SERAP, criticised the alleged arrest, saying it had written a
powerful petition to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
based in Gambia to protest the action.

 Just last Thursday, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had declined
Ribadu’s prayer to stop the police and the EFCC from arresting
him. His prayer to the court had followed an invitation to him by the
EFCC to report at its office to answer questions on some fundamental
issues relating to his tenure at the commission.

 Drama started yesterday at the NIPSS graduation when Ribadu, who was
dressed in mufti (an ash coloured babanriga with black cap) unlike other
police officers, rushed out of the hall where he had been seated
exchanging pleasantries with friends and colleagues alike.

 He was said to have been invited out by the chief security officer of
NIPSS and taken to an unspecified place within the institute. A source
quoted him as saying he was forced out of the hall with his family
members and friends. The former EFCC boss had, in a brief interview with
journalists before he was invited out of the hall, thanked God for the
opportunity to attend the course.

 The worst fear of observers who were curious about his disappearance
up to minutes before the graduation proper was confirmed when the acting
director of studies of the institute, Dr. Adamu Fika, announced that,
although 65 people participated in the Senior Executive Course 30, two
of them would not be graduating along with others. He mentioned Ribadu
and Mr. Deinbo Briggs, a staff of NIPSS who had been enmeshed in an
alleged camera theft saga during a foreign tour to China as a result of
which he was initially withdrawn from the course and later reinstated
pending conclusion of investigations into his case.

 According to Fika, one of them (Briggs), said to have just undergone a
surgery for pile, would not be graduating on health grounds while the
other (Ribadu) was for other reasons which he did not specify. The
announcement generated some disquiet within the hall leading to people
discussing the matter in low tones. The denial of graduation is the
climax of the controversy that surrounded his demotion from the rank of
assistant inspector general of police to a deputy commissioner raising
the question of his qualification for the course.

 By the institute’s rule, only police officers in the rank of
commissioner and above are qualified to attend the Senior Executive
Course. The institute initially expressed confusion over the matter but
later resolved to allow him continue the course. At a pre-graduation
press briefing, last Wednesday, acting director-general of NIPSS, Mr.
James Opadiran, had assured that Ribadu would graduate. SERAP,
yesterday, carpeted the government of President Umaru Musa
Yar’Adua over the alleged arrest and detention of Ribadu.

 The non-governmental organisation, NGO, said that the arrest was the
latest in a chain of shameful conducts by Yar’Adua government
demonstrating that its alleged commitment to the rule of law was a ruse.

 In the NGO’s petition to the African Commission on Human and
Peoples Rights in Gambia to protest Ribadu’s arrest, signed by
its Executive Director, Mr Adetokunboh Mumuni, and addressed to the
Special Rapporteurs on Human rights defender in Africa , Madame Reine
ALAPINI-GANSOU, the organisation is urging the commission to
“urgently intervene in this matter to ensure his immediate
release and to stop further attacks, unlawful arrest and harassment of a
prominent anti-corruption campaigner and human rights defenderâ€

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