PSC on Ribadu: A Dog To Its Vomit.

No Comments » May 26th, 2010 posted by // Categories: General Articles

PSC on Ribadu: A Dog To Its Vomit.

By Atsar Terver

When in December 2008, the PSC dismissed the then DCP, Nuhu Ribadu from the Police, the spokesman for the commission, Suleiman Abba summarised the basis for his sack as follows: ‘the commission (PSC) 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’. He had stated unequivocally that the decision to dismiss Ribadu from the force was taken after both the Force and PSC examined eight issues raised against the former anti-crimes boss and found him guilty.

In that same statement, Abba also justified the demotion of Ribadu from the rank of AIG to DCP stating that Ribadu’s case was neither the first nor the only instance where officers have been reduced in rank in the history of the Nigeria Police Force. Indeed Ribadu was demoted alongside several other officers, whose promotion violated the laid down procedures.

With the reversal of both the demotion and dismissal barely one month after Jonathan assumed power as President, it is pertinent that Nigerians be told the basis for this new decision. �We need to be told for instance if the ’Public Service Rules 2006’have changed. And even if they have changed, we need to know if a rule can be applied in arrears; in which case we would go back in history and reverse all demotions/dismissal s that were done in the past for the same reasons as Ribadu’s.

This is a burden that rests squarely on the head of the Police Service Commission. Parry Osayande needs to come out boldly and tell Nigerian’s if he still has an atom of integrity. If he does, he should know what to do; that is to resign. But that word is very strange to Nigerian public officers. It is only here that public officers speak from both�sides of the mouth with impunity and the general public allows them to get away with it.

How on earth could we the citizens be expected to still have confidence in a Police Force where you first promote a set of officers,( one of them a Nuhu �from Asst Commissioner to AIG in just 3 years ) and then you reverse the promotions having ‘discovered’ that they by-passed due process. This Nuhu refuses to accept his demotion and in the process violated several service rules for which he is dismissed. Then two years after you ‘realise’ that the demotion needed not have happened and the dismissal should have instead been retirement. Where is the honour or integrity of the PSC members in all these?

What about the other officers that were demoted alongside Ribadu �many of whom accepted their new ranks and continued to be obedient to the authorities? How does rewarding the indiscipline and insubordination of Ribadu motivate the officers of the Force to be disciplined?

I am not oblivious of the fact that some Nigerians are too excited with the Nuhu’s restoration to see the truth. In fact this is exactly our problem as a people. We tend to cerebrate the absence of working institutional frameworks and enforcement of the rule of law, which makes it nearly impossible for us to discern when an act is noble or ignoble.

The reversal of Ribadu’s Demotion/dismissal would be a welcome development if and only if the promotion that was reversed initially was lawful and the dismissal was done without cause and did not follow due process. But the facts of the matter are different. His rapid promotion from ACP to AIG within three years was clearly established by the PSC to be irregular. It was clear to everyone then that Obasanjo single-handedly manipulated the system to get Ribadu promoted to that rank, over and above his colleagues, in order to position him where he could drive his (OBJ’s) political ambition. His dismissal also followed all the laid down procedures; a panel was set up which gave Ribadu ample opportunity to defend himself but he shunned the Panel.

Since Ribadu went to court to challenge the demotion and dismissal, the only legal thing to do was to allow the case to go on to a logical conclusion, if he won and a court ordered his reinstatement, fine and good, but for the PSC to now reverse itself without explanation is simply despicable. It bears very bold imprints of impunity. A dog just returned to its vomit. That dog is the PSC and the dog-handler is GJ.

President Jonathan is living true to my prediction that he will return Nigeria to the era of arbitrariness and lawlessness which was characteristic of Obasanjo’s regime. The President now constitutes himself into a Law onto himself and can order withdrawal of charges against any accused persons (like Ribadu) while at the same time order charges to be proffered against another (Ogbulafor) depending on who holds more promise to influence his political future. The constitution allows the President to pardon a convict but I am not aware he can order withdrawal of charges. Where are the Bamidele Aturus, and Akeredolus of this world now?

Only a kindergarten would be in doubt about Jonathan’s political game plan for 2011. Ribadu had played it well for his mentor Obasanjo, and he GJ was a major beneficiary of Ribadu’s manipulative games in the run up to the 2007 elections. Speculations that he intends to make him INEC Chair are therefore not unbelievable.

Goodluck Jonathan is merely playing a script written for him by the USA when he went to the White House. That script has the interest of only two people in mind namely the USA and the USA! And if he plays it well, GJ will be handsomely rewarded. No international press propaganda would be mounted against his government. We shall against all facts on ground be told that a messiah has come to take Nigeria out of the woods.

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