Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu yesterday said the decision by the Police Service Commission (PSC) to demote him, and later dismiss him from the Nigeria Police Force was nulled by the court, necessitating reversal of the action taken by the government.
Ribadu was dismissed from the Police in controversial circumstances in 2008. He was to flee the country after two failed assassination attempts on him.
Against the backdrop of some insinuations that he got back his rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in 2010 out of magnanimity, the former EFCC boss said he actually won a case against the government on rash action taken against him.
Speaking yesterday at a public lecture to mark the official opening of a new Law office of a renowned Lagos lawyer, Mr Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, Ribadu said it was Mr. Oyitebo that handled the case on his behalf.
Describing the case as one of Oyitebo’s many “many historic victories” Ribadu recalled that the lawyer succeeded in having “the decision reversed and my ranks restored”. He said the action of Oyitebo was “a huge favour which I may never be able to repay, except with these tokens of gratitude”.
“I’m here today not just to honour my brother Barrister Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, but to sincerely express a depth of gratitude for his selfless contributions to my personal and public service career. My relationship with this remarkable lawyer is one for which I must forever remain grateful. He has stood with me, believed in my causes while I was at EFCC and dedicated his time and resources to representing us pro bono.”
Ribadu also recalled the contributions of several other legal practitioners who supported his tenure at the EFCC and beyond as well as some operatives of the commission who payed the supreme price in the line of duty.
He said, without the sacrifices and support of those individuals, the commission, then under his leadership, may not record as much successes as it did within the six years of his stewardship at the EFCC.
“I want to seize this opportunity to thank the brilliant lawyers and brothers who stood for us and provided us with their free legal service at the EFCC, especially at the time we were under tremendous pressures in our struggles to carry out assignments considered impossible by detractors. These are distinguished lawyers and models for the practising and aspiring lawyers.
“I will forever remain indebted to the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, his Chamber and family, for standing with us, and representing us in courts without asking for a kobo. Chief Gani was swift in challenging the decision to have me vacating office for a course at Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Study (NIPSS).
“The sacrifices of Barrister Femi Falana, SAN, and Chamber, including his successful defence of the case filed against me by the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over a false claim of my failure to fill out the asset declaration form as a public servant, were also favours no man can ever repay. This was among the many cases Mr Falana successfully handled for me and the EFCC at no cost of ours while I was in charge.
“I must also thank my friend and classmate, Barrister Charles Musa and Chamber and my younger brother Barrister Ahmed Uwais and Chamber, who participated in these historic struggles of my career, and invested their time and resources for my sake, and the sake of the nation. I must also commend the Nigerian judiciary for being the shade inside which our hope was restored. We don’t come across kind-hearted people like them everyday.
“Similarly, I wish to remember some of our hardworking colleagues and brothers lost in this struggle for the redemption of our beloved nation: Muazu, our forensic expert, who was killed in the front of his family; Danjuma Mohammed, also lost in similar inhuman state, in his residence at Apo, Abuja; M. Abba, who was burnt alive in Abuja inside his car. It can’t be worst than that. These were evil ploys carried out by enemies of the nation to have us cowered!