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Gani, Afenifere, others condemn Ribadu’s demotion

Posted by By RAZAQ BAMIDELE, AKEEB ALARAPE and SEYE OJO, Ibadan on 2008/08/16 | Views: 1280 |

Gani, Afenifere, others condemn Ribadu’s demotion


The demotion of former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu by the Police Service Commission from Assistant Inspector General to Deputy Commissioner along with 139 other policemen has sparked off condemnations.

The demotion of former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu by the Police Service Commission from Assistant Inspector General to Deputy Commissioner along with 139 other policemen has sparked off condemnations.

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) described the demotion as “absolutely bizarre” just as the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere also said it was “quite uncomfortable” with the action.
The three-paragraph statement personally signed by Fawehinmi on Wednesday read thus: “I condemn as absolutely bizarre the demotion of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu from Assistant Inspector-General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police after his illegal and unjustifiable removal as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s non-criminal offence for these atrocious and oppressive actions of the Federal Government against him is his (Ribadu’s) honest character and the unprecedented arrest, arraignment and trial of some powerful bigmen for corruption.

“I want President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to realize that any government that punishes honesty sows the seeds of its inevitable destruction by corruption.”

Afenifere in its statement signed by National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, said: “the demotion of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is an embarrassment this administration will have to contend with.”
According to the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, the administration accepted Ribadu as AIG when it sent him to the Nigerian Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru for a course that would qualify him for his new rank, wondering why the policy somersault that led to his demotion.
While reading another meaning into the exercise, Afenifere cried foul that “about 40 of the demoted officers, compared to nine from the North, come from the South-West geo-political zone, which means they are all Yoruba.”

The group alleged that the exercise was another manipulation to ensure that a certain ethnic stock continued to take all the sensitive positions in the force now and in the future.
The group observed further that: “The late Haz Iwendi was buried as a Commissioner of Police with full honours. Are they going to exhume his body and rebury him with his new rank?

“If the excuse for these demotions was that the officers were promoted out of rank, why is the name of Mr Mike Okiro (IGP) not on this list? It is on record that he was promoted from CP to DIG without ever being an AIG. Even his confirmation as IG by-passed Onovo who was senior to him.
“From all the above, our deductions are that these exercises were carried out for two reasons: ethnic manipulations of the force and humiliation of Ribadu.”

A human rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) introduced a new dimension to the development as it has forwarded a petition to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mrs Margaret Sekaggya on the alleged threat of arrest and demotion of the EFCC former boss, urging her to prevail on the government to stop harassment and intimidation of the former anti-graft agency boss.

In a petition dated 6 August, 2008 and signed by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said, “The Nigerian government justified his (Ribadu) demotion on the ground that his ‘promotion was irregular and done without regard for the laws guiding such exercise.”
However, SERAP “believed that the demotion was in bad faith and part of a persistent smear campaign against Mr Ribadu for his anti-corruption campaign while in office. There are credible reports that while the government was announcing Mr Ribadu’s demotion it was also making attempts to arrest him in Kuru, Jos, purportedly for ‘questioning’.

The organization also said that it was “deeply concerned by the retaliatory measures taken by the Yar’Adua government to arrest and demote one of the most efficient, focused, consistent and hardworking anti-corruption campaigners in our country. The threats of arrest and demotion not only aim to continue the victimization of Mallam Ribadu for his anti-corruption activities as Chairman of the EFCC but also to harass, intimidate and frustrate the work of other anti-corruption campaigners and institutions.”

“We are seriously concerned about the safety and well-being of Mr Ribadu, and fear that continuing attacks against him are a reprisal for his efficient and diligent prosecution of official and political corruption while in office,” the organization added.

In another reaction, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, however, described the demotion of Ribadu and others as a welcome development, saying it would go a long way in the fight to curb corruption anywhere in the public service.

He made the comment while speaking with newsmen at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop for the organized by the commission for its Anti-Corruption and Transparency Units (ACTUs) in the South-West geo-political zone held in Ibadan on Wednesday.
The ICPC boss stated that the demotion would not only help in the fight to sanitize the police force, it would equally send signals to public officers anywhere in the country that corruption must be nipped in the bud.

Justice Ayoola, who was represented on the occasion by a member of the commission, Mrs. Dame Onum-Nwariaku, declared that it was a common fact that the public service played important role in the affairs of any nation, but if the public service/public organizations were corrupt and rotten, the whole nation was bound to be corrupt and rotten, adding that public service must be sanitized.

His words, “As you catch and deal with officials who are corrupt, not just in the police, anywhere in the public service, definitely it will send the right messages to say and as we say now that there is no place for corruption anymore. We will fight it and wrestle it down as much as we can to the best of our ability.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) had on Tuesday announced the demotion of the former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, from the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), along with 139 other senior officers.

Chairman of Police Service Commission, DIG Parry Osayande (retd) in a statement in Abuja explained that the special promotions given to the demoted officers were not based on established criteria, and therefore, a total breach of section 153 of the 1999 constitution and the Police Service Commission Act 2001.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.