Police commission dismisses Ribadu

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THE NATION

 

Ribadu’s road to dismissal

24/12/2008

 

 

 

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PUNCH

 

Police commission dismisses Ribadu

By Tobi Soniyi and Sola Fabiyi, Abuja

Published: Wednesday, 24 Dec 2008

The Police Service Commission on Tuesday dismissed the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the Nigeria Police Force for an alleged serious misconduct.

 

The Deputy Force Secretary, Mr. Sulaiman Abba, said the action was in line with the recommendation of a Force Disciplinary Committee set up by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.

According to him, the Ogbonna Onovo-led committee found that Ribadu‘s actions were inimical to national security.

He said, “The PSC, therefore, met and considered the presentation made to it by the IG on the recommendation of the FDC.

“At the end of the deliberation, the commission dismissed the officer from the Force for acts of gross indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty which are singularly and collectively acts punishable under rules 030401 of Public Service Rules 2006 which states that ‘Serious misconduct is a specific act of various wrong-doing and improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and if proven, may lead to dismissal.”

He said that Ribadu was not the only one affected by the demotion approved by the PSC.

According to him, while other affected officers accepted their demotion without challenge, Ribadu “took the path of indiscipline, confrontation and destruction never known before in the Force, forgetting that discipline is the bedrock upon which the Force rest.”

He added, “Unlike the path taken by his other colleagues whose promotions were also withdrawn and have been performing their duties without acrimony, he refused to accept his fate or seek for redress of any perceived injustice in the appropriate manner.

“Ribadu‘s case is not and has not been the only instance where officers have been reduced in rank in the history of NPF and hell was not let loose.

“His conduct is not only inimical to the enforcement of discipline in the Force but it also created disharmony amongst officers and encouraged indiscipline among members of the Force.”

Abba stated that the chains of events which led to Ribadu‘s demotion happened while he was on course at the National Institute of Strategic Studies in Kuru, Plateau State.

He said the Force received various petitions on illegal and unauthorised promotions carried-out without the consent of the PSC, following which it (commission) decided to have a look at the promotions resulting in the demotion of 139 Police Officers who were wrongfully promoted.

The underlisted are the misconducts which he said Ribadu committed after his demotion:

– Improper dressing by appearing in plain clothes while on official courtesy visit to President Umaru Yar’Adua on November 13, 2008 with other members of the NIPSS Senior Executive course, contrary to rule 030301(k) of the Public Service Rules 2006;

– Institution of legal proceedings against the IG, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the PSC on October 2, 2008 at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Abba argued that “such action without proper authority from Federal Government is a conduct prejudicial to discipline, proper administration of the Force and unbecoming of the officer contrary to Sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act and against rules 030402 and 030301 of the Public Service Rules 2006.”

– Institution of legal proceedings against Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the AGF, contrary to Sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act and Rules 030301 and 030402 of the Public Service Rules 2006.

The Force Secretary said the “action was to forestall the directives given to him to meet with the request of the EFCC Chairman with regards to handing over to her of official documents in his possession. This amounts to disobedience to lawful order.

– Ribadu flagrantly refused to obey the order and directives of the IG to report in his office on November 24, 2008 along with his course mates at the completion of their studies.

He added that the former EFCC boss “similarly failed to obey the order and directives to the effects that he should report at my office on November 25, 2008 where he was to be advised to report to the Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, as earlier directed, contrary to rules 030401 and 030301(m) of the Public Service Rules 2006.”

– Ribadu also instituted legal proceedings against the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS in Abuja on December 2, 2008 contrary to Sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act;

– The former EFCC Chairman disregarded his posting order and refused to proceed on transfer when he was posted to Zone 5, Benin, as a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of administration since Novembe 21, 2008 contrary to Sections 347 and 349/ 348 of the Police Act and Rules 030301/ 030401(e), 030413/ 030402(w) and 030428 of the Public Service Rules 2006;

– He also refused to avail himself of the opportunity given to defend himself of all the above charges before a Disciplinary Committee at its 4th December 2008 sitting in Kaduna. He similarly failed to report before the committee when he was given another chance to appear at its December 12 sitting in Abuja; and

– That to date, Ribadu neither reported back to Police authorities at the completion of his course, nor complied with the directives to report at his new duty post.

Abba said that the whereabouts of the former anti-graft czar had remained unknown. This, according to him, “amounts to desertion of the Force under Section 398 of the Police Act.”

He added that “in circumstances of desertion, the law provides that it is at the discretion of the Commissioner of Police to arrest such a deserter and charge him to court.”

The Force Secretary said that the consequences of Ribadu’s alleged offences was dismissal from service.

“Refusal to accept posting or report for duty is a very serious misconduct and may lead to dismissal in the Armed Forces and Police as such action is inimical to national security,” he said.

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Vanguard

Ribadu dismissed

Written by Ise-Oluwa Ige, Emmanuel Aziken, Innocent Anaba, Wahab Abdullah, Dapo Akinrefon, Charles Kumolu & Gb

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

EMBATTLED former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has been dismissed from the Nigeria Police as recommended by the Police Disciplinary Committee and adopted by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mike Okiro.

Announcing the confirmation of the dismissal of Ribadu, Deputy Force Secretary, Suleiman Abba, a Commissioner of Police, at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday said Ribadu was dismissed for acts of “gross indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty which are punishable under rule 030401 of Public Service Rule 2006.”

However, Ribadu’s counsel, Mr Charles Musa said the action will be challenged in court.

Another statement signed by police spokesman, Akpoebi Agberebi, confirmed Ribadu’s sack, also for “indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty.”

The quoted act states that “serious misconduct is a specific act of various wrong-doings and improper behaviour, which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and if proven, may lead to dismissal.”

Abba said Ribadu was dismissed to reinforce discipline in the Police as his recent acts of insubordination has “created disharmony amongst officers and encouraged indiscipline among members of the force.”

He was also accused of instituting legal proceedings against the Inspector-General of Police, Attorney-General and the Police Service Commission at a Federal High Court in Lagos, without proper authority from government.

This conduct, the statement added, is prejudicial to discipline, proper administration of the force and unbecoming of an officer, contrary to sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act and against Rules 030402 of the Police Service Rules 2006.

Ribadu was also accused of flagrantly disobeying the order and directive of the IG to report to the Force Headquarters on November 24, along with his NIPSS course mates, at the completion of their studies.

Furthermore, Ribadu was said to have disregarded his posting order and refused to proceed on transfer when he was posted to Zone 5, Benin, as Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of administration, since November 21, contrary to sections 349, 348 and 347 of the Police Act.

“Serious misconduct is a specific act of various wrongdoings and improper behaviours, and which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and if proven, will lead to dismissal.

At the end of deliberations, the commission dismissed the officer from the force for acts of gross indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty, acts singularly and collectively punishable under rules 03, 04,01 of the Public Service Rules 2006,” the statement read.

Case against Ribadu

Abba in announcing the position of the PSC on the Ribadu issue listed a deluge of offences allegedly committed by Ribadu upon which he was sent packing from the Force. These are:

•Improper dressing by appearing in plain clothes while on official courtesy visit to Mr. President on 13th November, 2008 with other NIPSS Course participants contrary to rule 030301(k) of the Public Service Rule 2006.

•Institution of legal proceeding against the IGP, AGF and the Police Service Commission on 2nd October at the Federal High Court, Lagos. Such action without proper authority from Government is a conduct prejudicial to discipline, proper administration of the Force and unbecoming of the Officer contrary to section 352 and 367 of the Police Act and against the rule 030402 and 030301 of the Public Service Rule 2006.

•Institution of legal proceeding against EFCC and Attorney-General of the Federation contrary to sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act and rules 030301 and 030402 of the Public Service Rules 2006.

His action was to forestall the directives given to him to meet with the request of the EFCC Chairman with regards to hand over to her official documents in his possession. This amounts to disobedience to lawful order contrary to rules 030401 and 030301(m) of the Public Service Rules 2006.

•The officer flagrantly refused to obey the order and directive of the IGP to report in the office of the IGP on 24th November, 2008 along with his NIPSS course mates at the completion of their studies. Similarly, the officer failed to obey the order and directives to the effect that he should report at my office on 25th November 2008, where he was to be advised to report to the chairman of the EFCC as earlier directed contrary to rules 030401 and 030301(m) of the Public Service Rules 2006.

•The officer also instituted legal proceeding against the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the community court of Justice of ECOWAS, Abuja on 2nd December, 2008 contrary to section 352 and 367 of the police Act.

•Furthermore, the officer disregarded his posting order and refused to proceed on transfer when he was posted to Zone 5 Benin as DCP in charge Administration since 21st November, 2008, contrary to section 349, 348, and 347 of the Police Act and rules 030301,030401(e),030413,030402(w) and 030428 of the Public Service Rule 2006.

•The officer also refused to avail himself of the opportunity given to defend himself of all the above charges before a Disciplinary Committee at its 4th December 2008 sitting in Kaduna. He similarly failed to report before the committee when he was given another chance to appear at its 12th December sitting in Abuja.

In rounding up the allegations against him, Abba said Ribadu’s whereabouts remain unknown to the force which means that he has deserted the Police.

“In circumstances of desertion, the law provides that it is the discretion of the Commissioner of Police to arrest such a deserter and charge him to court,” he added.

Abba, who refused to entertain questions after delivering his speech, did not, however, disclose if Ribadu will be prosecuted in the law court for deserting the police.

The dismissal is an anti-climax to the spirited fight put up by the ex-EFCC czar to reverse his demotion announced by the PSC on August 16 this year, culminating into series of struggles, leading to a pending court case at the ECOWAS court.

His dismissal notwithstanding, trouble seem not over for Ribadu as a dependable source said that orders have been given to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), to declare him wanted if he fails to report to the commission between now and Monday.

The EFCC had invited Ribadu to clear the air on issues of missing case files on high profile investigations carried out during his tenure as the EFCC boss, but he has continued to shun the invitation, despite the express order given to him by the IGP to heed the call of the anti-graft agency.

Ribadu’s counsel reacts

But Mallam Ribadu’s lawyers however reacted yesterday, saying news of their client’s dismissal was received with “great disbelief.”

A terse statement issued by Mr Charles Musa of Charles Musa & Co (Notary Public), the lawyers said: “We have received with great disbelief the purported dismissal of our client, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the Nigeria Police Force.

“We want to put on record that this is an act of flagrant abuse of the Constitution, disregard of judicial process, and a mockery of the rule of law.

“The decision will be challenged in the court of law. It is our belief that Justice would be done in the matter.”

Lawyers condemn sack

Some lawyers, yesterday condemned the sack of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), from the Police Force. Amongst those who spoke are Femi Falana and Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

Femi Falana

“Nuhu Ribadu’s dismissal from the Police Force cannot stand legally, as he was never given any form of hearing by the Police Service Commission as required by section 36 of the 1999 constitution. By acting on the report of a panel set up by the Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission based its decision on an illegal wicket, contrary to section 153 of the constitution.

Assuming without conceding that the Inspector General of Police has power to set up an investigation panel, the Police Service Commission could not legally act on it without affording him (Ribadu) the opportunity to make a representation before it (PSC). In any case, the dismissal is contemptuous of the pending suit filed by Ribadu against the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police”.

Adetokunbo Mumuni

“This is not the best of time for Nuhu Ribadu. Since he was sent early this year to NIPSS on a mandatory course without due process and in a move to force him out of the EFCC apparently because of his prosecution of official corruption at the highest level of government, Mr. Ribadu has, literally, known no peace, removed from office in questionable circumstances; unlawfully demoted, reportedly shot at by unknown gunmen; dismissed from the police force, and likely to be jailed soon.

His offence? He did the unusual by daring to fight high level official corruption, and those very close to the power base in Abuja. Those that he fought so diligently for the sake of our beloved country are now firmly in power and fighting back brutally”.

“Shortly after his forced departure from the EFCC, exactly on August 5, 2008, the Nigerian Police Service Commission announced the demotion of Mr. Ribadu, from the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police. The police claimed that there were ‘irregularities’ in his appointment but it is now clear that his demotion is the second of four things the power-that-be have in stock for Mr. Ribadu. The first, to remove him from the EFCC, the second, to demote him, the third to dismiss him, and the fourth will be to jail him for politically motivated offences.

Appointed in 2003, Mr. Ribadu made the EFCC a credible anti-corruption institution widely respected both nationally and internationally. Whatever may have been the shortcomings of EFCC while he was Chairman, few would disagree that Mr. Ribadu made an important contribution to the fight against corruption in Nigeria, he did the unusual by pursuing and bringing to justice the hitherto untouchable and powerful politicians and ‘leaders”.

Further he said, “The retaliatory measures taken by the Yar’Adua government against Ribadu have been condemned by many prominent human rights activists and lawyers, but the government of President Umaru Yar’Adua is not yielding. The police authorities have now dismissed Ribadu, despite the fact that his case against them is still pending before the court”.

“This can’t go on. And we cannot be indifferent to the treatment of Mr. Ribadu by the Nigerian authorities simply because it is not happening to us or someone close to us. It should not be that way because an injustice to one man dishonors all people. We have to speak out loudly in a chorus of protest against the unlawful and unjustified attacks and harassment of Mr. Ribadu if impunity of the country’s leaders is to be tackled. Unless more Nigerians speak out loudly against harassment of Mr. Ribadu there is little chance of it ending”.

“The greatest challenge in our pursuit of justice is to stand up and speak to power. Injustices and double standards are a brazen abomination that cannot be defended. We must speak up and not shut up until we know the tide is turning towards justice and safety for Mr. Ribadu. Today it is Mr. Ribadu; no one knows who is next tomorrow.

His purported dismissal must be reversed immediately. All allegations of threats to Mr. Ribadu’s life must be fully investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice. I encourage all well meaning Nigerians to tell the Yar’Adua government loudly that enough is enough”, he added.

He’s a victim — Senators

Senators yesterday hailed erstwhile anti-corruption chief, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as a victim of the corrupt system he fought against saying that his unceremonious dismissal from the Nigerian Police was a dangerous signal that it doesn’t pay to fight corruption.

While lauding his pioneering role in the fight against corruption, some Senators nevertheless faulted him for his over zealousness and availability in settling the political scores of the former administration.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption Senator Sola Akinyede in his reaction to the dismissal focused on what he said were the signals that would emanate from the development. He said that the action of the Police authorities would send a dangerous signal to youths and the rank and file of the Police that the Ribadu treatment awaited them if they fought graft.

His words: “The signal that is being sent is that those who fight corruption the way he did is that this is the kind of thing that awaits them. To me that is a very dangerous signal and it is not good for us as a nation.”

Senator Dahiru Kuta

The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Senator Dahiru Kuta while also lauding Mallam Ribadu for his pioneering role in the war against corruption, however, lamented that the erstwhile anti-graft chief allowed himself to be enmeshed in politics.

Senator Ehigie Uzamere (PDP, Edo South)

The dismissal would make a hero out of Ribadu who he said was indeed a victim of the system that used him for political reasons.

Noting that he was oblivious of the internal issues involving Ribadu and the Police authorities, Senator Akinyede, nevertheless, expressed his concern on the signals emanating from the dismissal announced yesterday.

He said: “Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has done more for the war against corruption more than any other person in recent times, I find the reaction of the Police rather worrying because it is sending a dangerous signal to people who believe in the war against corruption particularly our youths.’’

“In view of the fact that he fought corruption relentlessly, the signal that is being sent is that those who fight corruption the way he did that this is the kind of thing that awaits them. To me that is a very dangerous signal and it is not good for us as a nation.’’

“I am not concerned about what the Police is doing but I am more concerned about the dangerous signal being sent not just to our youths and the rank and file of the Police, but also to the international community as to the seriousness of our fight against corruption. That is my basic concern, whether they are intended or unintended, the signals are dangerous,’’ Senator Akinyede said.

Senator Kuta

Speaking in the same vein, his deputy, Senator Kuta said:

“He meant well for this country especially in the anti-graft crusade, but unfortunately he was getting too much involved in politics and he was making political statements and now that the person who brought him, who he protected is no longer around, I knew he was going to have some problems.’’

“Clearly, he is a victim of circumstances and he himself didn’t help matters at all, there was no decorum in what he was doing but I think he meant well for this country. He gave the EFCC a very good image and during his time he achieve a lot. Even the international community was appreciative of the way he was fighting the war against corruption but at home he stepped on so many toes and allowed himself to be dragged into politics.’’

 

Senator Uzamere in his own reaction said:

“They have succeeded in making him a hero. I was a victim of Ribadu I was indeed locked up for four months without trial, but all that I have put behind me because I know he was being used and did as he was directed, but he tried in his own way.’’

“What the Police authorities have now succeeded in doing is turning the young man into a hero.

My only problem with his anti-corruption battle was that he concentrated on the States who receive only 30% of the national income without looking at the State. The young man has tried in his own way. Ribadu was as much a victim of the system,’’ Senator Uzamere, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts said.

Emeka Ngige (SAN)

Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) and a Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome yesterday described the dismissal of the pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu from police, as unfair and unconstitutional.

They said that if the media report about the dismissal was anything to go by, they said it was unfair and unconstitutional for the police authourities to dismiss him from service on account of the subject-matter of his pending suit challenging his demotion.

Mike Ozekhome

But Chief Ozekome said that the action of the police could only be legal and constitutional if he was sacked based on his refusal to obey directives from his superior.

He said that while it is admitted that Ribadu filed a case in court challenging his demotion, he said the case neither says that he should not obey directives from his superior or that he should be appearing in mufti.

But if his dismissal is, according to media reports, on the subject-matter of his lawsuit he instituted against the police, then the police goofed and his dismissal is illegal.

Ozekhome and Ngige said the principle in the case of Ojukwu Vs Lagos State Government and the principle of lis pendis are clear that all parties in the suit, having submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the court are not permitted to take any step that would force a situation of fait accompli on the court.

But both Ozekhome and Ngige (SAN) however disagreed on what Ribadu should have done long before now when it was clear that he could be sacked from service by the police authourities.

For Ozekhome, he said Ribadu should have resigned from the police since he was not comfortable with his demotion but Ngige was of the view that resignation was not a better option “because even if he had resigned, the police authourities would have converted it to dismissal.

“That has been their plan before now. And they have now succeeded,” he said, adding that the government of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has a policy of use and dump.

He said the government had finished using Ribadu and had dumped him.

It is an affront to discipline — Chief Richard Akinjide

On the dismissal of Ribadu, we should be careful not to mix the apple with the orange. What happened about the so called corruption cleansing during the Obasanjo regime was never sincere, but a mafia war, victimized those who were not politically correct.

Many people did not know that Ribadu was earning salary more than that of the Inspector General of Police and he was ostracizing power more than that of the Inspector General of Police even when he was just a Commissioner of Police.

To me, that is an affront to discipline and recipes for chaos in a force, which number one priority is discipline and number two is hierarchy.

It’s a Nigerian tragedy — Prof. Itse Sagay

I am just hearing it for the first time. The way the Ribadu issue was handled was a complete mess. It edifies the Nigerian tragedy. Ribadu used his position to fight corruption without fear.

Though he was accused of pursuing the agenda of his master. In some cases, people were unduly persecuted. But we should realise that this was a young man who has the character of a patriot. He did his job with passion..

Instead of messing him up like this, he ought to have been corrected. If he was corrected and allowed to work under a different administration, things would have been different. But what we have is the case of throwing away the baby with the bath water.

What we have now in place of Ribadu is a body that lacks the courage to fight corruption the way Ribadu did. The body is no longer passionate about fighting corruption. This is a Nigerian tragedy. We have wasted Ribadu and nothing good will come out of this kind of treatment.

He should have resigned — Prince Tony Momoh

The fact is that the Nigerian Police Force is guided by acts and regulations. These acts and regulations include disciplinary measures against erring officers.

Nuhu Ribadu was Assistant Inspector General of Police and later reduced in rank to Deputy Commissioner of Police and as long as he remains in the force, he is subject to disciplinary measures. He was invited by the Inspector General of Police and also by the Police Service Commission but he ignored them. In law, you cannot fault but Ribadu has been a victim of high level of politics.

For me, he would have resigned long ago and sought to do what he knows best, that is fighting corruption and he would have gotten recommendations from people like us; but he decided to remain in the force. I do not know who advised him to remain in the force, he wanted to eat his cake and have it.

The act of Ribadu is a continuum — Chief Kenneth Gbagi

We are aware of the committee of ex-governors who have held the neck of this administration to ransom, but let me say that history will always repeat itself.

The masses are watching, the international community is watching, the world is also watching and the situation of the banana republic is regrettable.

However, there are two million Nuhu Ribadus in Nigeria, who are still in the system. What they seek to cover up for the stretch of Ribadu is on public record already.

When the President submitted the names of some those ex-governors to made ministers, it was not Ribadu that was heading the security apparatus. We can only delay the hand of justice. But justice delayed, in my opinion is not justice denied. We will get there. The act of Ribadu is a continuum.

His sack has been long awaited — Dr Olapade Agoro

The dismissal of Nuhu Ribadu from the Nigerian Police Force is not unexpected. It has been long awaited, the announcement is only the pinnacle of the expectation.

In the very first instance, Nuhu Ribadu has not only stepped on big toes, he has cut to size the false ego of many useless characters in the society.

The problem Ribadu is now facing is a problem of expectation of those who have fought against governmental orders. Gani Fawehinmi, Femi Falana and Wole Soyinka, fought government agencies of corruption, the only option left for Ribadu is to stay in the country and fight this injustice through the law court of Nigeria.

Nigerians are unappreciative — Chief Ayo Adebanjo

They are unappreciative of his fight against corruption.

To have rewarded him with dismissal shows that there is a conspiracy to kill the fight against corruption.

It’s a violation of our constitution — Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin

It is a violation of our constitution. Our constitution is above Police Service Commission (PSC). The grounds on which he was sacked is baseless. He may not have gotten justice if he appeared before the Police panel.

Where he would get justice is where he has gone to. There is no reason disgracing him like this. The Police Service Commission should know that our constitution is sacrosanct. Everything is documented and history will be kind to Ribadu. He will get justice soon. We condemn such action.

Very unfortunate — Supo Shonibare

Well, it is very unfortunate that somebody who has been a star in the police has been treated anyhow; someone who performs his duty with his best by arresting and prosecuting those who were corrupt.

His dismissal sends a signal to the world that we are not ready to combat corruption in this country. Although, Ribadu had his excesses, his contribution to the law enforcement would forever be remembered. It is a pity that a man who should be explored in the police is being treated this way. I believe he has not lost anything, but the Nigerian people have lost out.

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THIS DAY

 

Ribadu Dismissed

From Paul Ibe and Ali M. Ali in Abuja, 12.24.2008

The long-anticipated sack of embattled former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Comm-ission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the Nigeria Police Force happened yesterday when the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro, implemented the recommendation of dismissal by the Police Service Comm-ission (PSC).
The PSC met on Monday and considered the presentation made to it by the IGP on the recommendation of the Force Disciplinary Committee (FDC).
At the end of deliberation, the PSC dismissed Ribadu for “acts of gross indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty which are singularly and collectively acts punishable under rules 030401 of Public Service Rules 2006”.
Announcing the dismissal yesterday at Force Headqu-arters on behalf of Okiro, the Deputy Force Secretary, Suleman Abba, who is a Commissioner of Police, explained that the rules stated that “serious misconduct is a specific act of various wrong doing and improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and which can be investigated and if proven, may lead to dismissal”.
According to him, Ribadu’s intransigence soon after his demotion along with 139 others by the PSC in August led to his sack from the force.
“Unlike the path taken by his other colleagues whose promotions were also withdrawn and have been performing their duties without acrimony, he refused to accept his fate or seek redress of any perceived injustice in the appropriate manner. Nuhu Ribadu’s case is not the only instance where officers have been reduced in rank in the history of Nigeria Police Force and hell was not let loose. His conduct is not only inimical to the enforcement of discipline in the Nigeria Police but it also created disharmony amongst officers and encouraged indiscipline among members of the Force,” Okiro said.
Among the series of misconducts levelled against Ribadu were improper dressing by appearing in plain clothes, while on official courtesy visit to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on November 13, 2008, a breach of rule 030301(k) of the Public Service Rules 2006, institution of legal proceedings against the IGP, Attorney-General of the Federation, and the PSC on October 2, 2008, also a violation of sections 352 and 367 of the Police Act and rules 030402 and 030301 of Public Service Rules 2006.
Ribadu was also accused of running foul of the listed sections of the Police Act and Public Service Rules by instituting legal proceedings against the EFCC and AGF purportedly to forestall complying with the directive to hand over official documents in his possession. The Police High Command considered this as disobedience to lawful order contrary to rules 030401 and 030301(m) of the Public Service Rules 2006.
He was also accused of ‘flagrant’ refusal to obey the order and directives of the IGP to report to the office of the IGP on November 24, 2008 on completion of his studies in addition to instituting legal proceedings against the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS, Abuja on December 2, 2008, failure to comply with directives to report at his new duty post which amounts to desertion and a breach of section 398 of the Police Act among other sundry misconduct.
The Police authorities said the “obvious consequences of the serious misconduct committed by Ribadu as highlighted above tantamount to dismissal from service. Refusal to accept posting or report for duty is a serious misconduct and may lead to dismissal in the Armed Forces and Police as such an action is inimical to national security. The Police Service Commission therefore met and considered the presentation made to it by the IGP on the recommendation of the Force Disciplinary Committee (FDC). At the end of deliberation, the Commission dismissed the officer from the Force for acts of gross indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty which are singularly and collectively acts punishable under rules 030401 of Public Service Rules 2006.”
THISDAY gathered from a source close to the PSC that Ribadu was not sacked for going to court, but for going “AWOL” (absent without official leave).
“The PSC did not recommend for his (Ribadu’s) sack because he went to court. If we did that, that would have amounted to contempt of court. He was dismissed for abandoning his duty post in total disregard of the Police Act,” the source said.
The source noted that although Ribadu had gone to court, there was no injunction from the court barring the Nigeria Police Force from posting him, stopping him from going to work or appearing before the disciplinary committee that was constituted by the police high command.
The source said that the decision to sack the former Chairman of the EFCC was unanimous as the five members of the PSC, who were present at the Monday meeting, voted to show him the way out of the force.
The PSC is made up of seven members. The late Justice Ejiwunmi has not been replaced while another member is bereaved, having lost his wife.
About 50 other cases bordering on dismissals, promotions and reduction in ranks were treated.
The meeting, which is the last for the year, started by 10am and dragged on late into the night “because of the several matters the PSC had to consider,” the source said.
According to the source, Ribadu’s case was the last to be considered and it took more than two hours before the five members could arrive at a decision.
The source disclosed that the Parry Osayande-led commission sought legal advice from within and outside the PSC over the Ribadu matter.
“We had to look at the matter (Ribadu’s case) step by step because of the interest it has generated. We wanted to do a thorough job to convince all that he deserved to be dismissed,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Ribadu’s counsel, Mr. Charles Musa, has described the dismissal as a flagrant abuse of the constitution, disregard of judicial process, and a mockery of the rule of law.
He added that the only option left for his client was to head to the court of law and challenge the dismissal, saying there was no gainsaying that justice would be done.
“We have received with great disbelief the purported dismissal of our client, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the Nigeria Police Force. We want to put on record that this is an act of flagrant abuse of the Constitution, disregard of judicial process, and a mockery of the rule of law. The decision will be challenged in the court of law. It is our belief that justice would be done in the matter,” he said.
Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) said the dismissal was clearly the act of an evil, lawless and corrupt government.

By Joseph Jibueze

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu became the issue for commentators and analyst worldwide with his appointment as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He was, before then, a largely unknown lawyer/prosecutor in the employment of the Nigeria Police Force.

Ribadu practically had his way while heading the EFCC under Obasanjo. Although he was accused of being the former president’s attack dog, the EFCC under Ribadu made some mark in the fight against graft, so much that the fear of EFCC became, as the saying goes, the beginning of wisdom.

But Ribadu’s fortunes began to change at the end of Obasanjo’s tenure.

With the coming to power of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua and the appointment of Mr. Michael Aondoakaa as Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, what many analysts have come to regard as the plot to cut Ribadu to size began.

Tussle with Agf

Ribadu’s perceived travail began with a directive from The Presidency on August 6, 2007 that the commission and other anti-graft agencies should seek the consent of the AGF before prosecuting any corrupt public officials. It said the decision was in line with Section 43 of the EFCC Act.

The section reads, “The Attorney-General of the Federation may make rules or regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the commission under this Act.”

But following the controversy generated by the directive, occasioned by fears that the move was an attempt by the administration to muzzle the EFCC, The Presidency on August 8, 2007 made a U-turn.

The AGF said he would still exercise supervisory powers over the EFCC and other anti-corruption bodies if they failed to carry out their functions in line with the dictates of the law.

That incident marked the beginning of a cat-and-mouse relationship between Ribadu and the government. Aondoakaa and Ribadu fell out in the case of former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori in the U.K. The court requested evidence to prosecute Ibori from the AGF. Aondoakaa reportedly sent a message to Ribadu, requesting for the evidence for a review and approval before sending it to UK.

Ribadu reportedly acknowledged the message but allegedly did not respond for many months. UK again sent another message to the AGF requesting for the information. The AGF, again, reportedly sent a reminder to Ribadu. Ribadu acknowledged the message for the second time, but still did not release the information to the AGF.

Later Ribadu allegedly sent a message to the AGF informing him that he (Ribadu) had sent the information directly to the UK. The judge was said to have insisted he was not going to admit the evidence without the signature of the AGF.

On September 5, 2007, the office of the AGF and the EFCC openly disagreed at a Federal High Court in Abuja over the trial of former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu.

The court had set out to hear an application to quash a 107-count charge against Kalu. While the DPP appeared in the court for the AGF, a private counsel, Mr. Adebisi Adeniyi, represented the EFCC.

But Adeniyi queried the sudden appearance of the DPP in a matter which was purely being prosecuted by the EFCC. The altercation between the two lawyers in the courtroom forced Justice Babs Kuewumi, to stand down the case for 10 minutes.

When the court resumed, the DPP announced appearance for the prosecution while the EFCC’s counsel withdrew. But the AGF frowned on the conduct of the counsel for the EFCC and asked for an apology from the commission. The AGF, who made the demand in a protest letter to Ribadu, said his office was undermined by the EFCC’s lawyer.

The AGF said the issue at stake was the EFCC’s refusal to comply with an order of the Abia State High Court barring it from prosecuting Kalu.

Departure from Efcc

On December 27, 2007, Yar’Adua approved the request by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to send all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) on a compulsory one-year study at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), in Kuru, near Jos. Ribadu initially kicked against his nomination, stirring a fresh controversy which cast the government in bad light.

When he eventually left for NIPSS, EFCC’s Director of Operations, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, was named acting chairman. However, a few months after he reported at Kuru, the Federal Government appointed a retired AIG, Mrs. Farida Waziri, as substantive chairman of the commission. Ribadu and some other Nigerians were incensed by what they thought was a ploy to remove Ribadu from office through the back door.

Demotion/redeployment

The Police Service Commission (PSC) on August 5 demoted 140 officers, including Ribadu, who was moved two ranks down to a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP). The PSC said the officers’ promotion was irregular.

His demotion generated another controversy over whether he could continue the course at NIPSS, reserved only for officers from the commissioner of police and above. However, withdrawing his became a buck-passing game between the police high command and the PSC.

Ribadu goes to court

Ribadu, on October 29 dragged the PSC to court over his demotion.

Ribadu, in an ex-parte application before the Federal High Court in Lagos, also claimed that his life was no longer safe.

He, therefore, asked the court to protect him since his demotion and redeployment had exposed him to indignity and danger.

The former EFCC boss also sought an interim injunction to restrain the defendants from punishing, suspending, interdicting, restricting his freedom of movement, and or any of his rights or doing anything against him as a consequence of the suit, pending the final determination of the suit.

He also sought an order restraining the police from stopping him from graduating from NIPSS.

Drama at Nipss graduation

Ribadu turned up for his graduation at NIPPS in plain clothes and was barred from joining the others in the ceremony. The Presidency intervened in the matter and ordered the release of his certificate to him.

He was subsequently redeployed to Benin City as a deputy commissioner of police in charge of administration.

But he failed to report at his new duty post.

NOW, DISMISSAL

After months of speculations, Ribadu was yesterday formally dismissed from the police force for “serious misconduct.” Ribadu’s refusal to accept posting or report for duty, among other offences, was described as “a very serious misconduct” and “inimical to national security.”

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