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Date Published: 04/02/10

1ST APRIL, 2010.


Keyamo slams withdrawal of charges against Nuhu Ribadu 


The reported decision of the Federal Government to withdraw criminal charges against Malam Nuhu Ribadu bordering on failure to declare assets as a public officer is totally wrong, very insensitive, entirely unwise, ill-advised and amounts to an abuse of office and power by the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan. 

On what moral or legal basis was the decision taken? In the last ten years in this country, corruption charges HAVE NEVER been withdrawn against any public officer except the court decides the public officer has no case to answer. So, why treat Nuhu Ribadu as a sacred cow when that was the very tendency he was reported to have fought against? Why should Ribadu not be held accountable by the same standards by which he also held others accountable? It would appear that the Federal Government has simply bowed to a certain sectional interest in this case, as there appears to be no legal or moral basis for such withdrawal of charges. It is important that Nigerian should not operate two sets of laws and different standards for the citizens and for public officers.  

It is shocking that Ribadu, who arrested and detained many public officers for similar offences, can be left off the hook without letting him have his day in court. In the past Ribadu consistently told the Code of Conduct Tribunal that he was ready to defend himself, but that erstwhile Attorney-General, Aondoakaa was threatening to kill him, hence he refused to appear before the tribunal. Now that Aondoakaa is out of office, it is only commonsensical that Ribadu should come to court to show his Assets Declaration Forms which he filed at the time he was made Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (not the one he made when he left office) 

The Jonathan administration has shown crass timidity and gross irresponsibility by this decision. No citizen is above the law and none can have immunity against prosecution because of any perceived track record. The withdrawal of the charges against Ribadu is corruption at its best. The only thing Goodluck Jonathan should have ensured is that Ribadu gets a fair trial and that he should not be arrested or treated badly if he comes to face his trial. 

This singular action of unjustifiably dropping charges against a public officer like Ribadu is likely to open an unwholesome floodgate of demands by corrupt persons who are facing trial for sundry offences to have their charges dropped also due to perceived “political persecution”, and that will be dangerous. The Federal Government will have no moral basis to deny them their requests. 

In my case, I have so far faced more than five politically-motivated criminal charges throughout my career and, on each occasion, I was proved innocent in court and discharged and acquitted. No one is too big or too small to face the law. 

In no uncertain terms, I condemn wholly and entirely this unwise, ill-adviced and corrupt decision to drop criminal charges against Nuhu Ribadu. He should come to court to tell the world whether indeed, he declared his assets as Chairman of EFCC or not. This is not sentiment. It is hard fact. 

Thank you. 



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