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Three ex-IGs plot Ribaduís sack from Police

Posted by From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation on 2008/12/01 | Views: 2037 |

Three ex-IGs plot Ribaduís sack from Police

A plot to get former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Mallam Nuhu Ribadu out of the Police thickened at the weekend.

A plot to get former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Mallam Nuhu Ribadu out of the Police thickened at the weekend.
Three former Inspectors-General of Police (IGs) are behind the plot, it was learnt yesterday.

The former IGs are also said to have agreed to prevail on IG, Mike Okiro to go ahead with plans to discipline Ribadu, who was demoted from Assistant IG (AIG) to Deputy Commissioner of Police in September. Ribadu has gone to court to challenge his demotion.

But Ribaduís lawyers, sources said, are challenging the powers of the IG to discipline their client. They are contending that only the Police Service Commission (PSC) could discipline an officer of Ribaduís status. The PSC has power over the discipline, promotion and demotion of commissioners and above.

Ribadu is expected to appear before the Force Disciplinary Committee on Thursday, in Kaduna. The panel comprises all the Deputy IGs (DIGs) and the Force Secretary, Udom Ekpomdom, who is an Assistant IG (AIG).

The former IGs, who secretly located to Abuja last week, are reportedly unhappy that Ribadu humiliated one of their colleagues, Mr. Tafa Balogun, out of office.

It was also gathered that one of the affected former IGs almost suffered the same fate as Balogun but for intervention from higher quarters.

A source said: "Some ex-IGs have not forgiven Ribadu since the EFCC humiliated Tafa Balogun out of office. They are backing Okiro to deal with Ribadu. They believe that the disgraceful exit of Balogun from the Nigeria Police has undermined the office of the IG. They are also saying that Ribaduís action messed up esprit de corps in the Police Force.

"The ex-IGs are capitalising on Ribaduís spurning of Okiroís queries to prod the IG to enforce discipline at all cost. Ordinarily, these are senior police officers who should have interceded on behalf of Ribadu, but they are ganging up against him."

Investigations revealed that the ex-IGs met secretly in Maitama District, Abuja, last week, on the situation in the Police and how to tackle the Ribadu problem.

The source added: "What pained these officers was that following the manacles put on Balogun and its implications for the integrity of the Police, some ex-IGs protested to former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the matter. Obasanjo, through his former Chief of Staff, Maj-Gen. Abdullahi Mohammed, wrote Ribadu to apologise to Balogun, but the ex-EFCC chairman refused.

"Ribaduís position, which he told Obasanjo to his face, was that Balogun was a suspect and not an IG at the time of his trial. He said it would be strange for a prosecutor to apologise to a suspect. The ex-EFCC chairman also said an apology to Balogun would affect the anti-corruption campaign of the Obasanjo administration.

"So, you can appreciate why these ex-IGs are plotting against Ribadu."

Controversy is however trailing the proposed appearance of Ribadu before the Disciplinary Committee on December 4.

Quoting Section 30 (a) and (b) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, a source said only the PSC could discipline an officer of Ribaduís status.

The section reads: "The Commission (PSC) shall have power to (a) appoint persons (other than the Office of the IG in the Nigeria Police Force; and (b) dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding any office referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph."

The source argued: "The Police should be prepared for a long-drawn battle on the summons served on Ribadu. They are daily shooting themselves in the leg because the IG does not have such powers."
More lawyers are expected to join Ribaduís defence team, it was learnt yesterday.

A counsel said: "Many lawyers have indicated interest in defending Ribadu and it is interesting that some of our senior ones are joining the battle.

"You should know that all the lawyers in court for Ribadu so far are offering free legal service (probono) because it is a cause they believe in. The legal battle is expected to assume a new dimension from next week."

But a top police source said: "It is absurd to claim that the IG cannot enforce discipline within the Force. All police officers are bound by Public Service Rules and their discipline falls within this purview.

It was learnt that Ribadu might be asked to respond to such allegations as acts prejudicial to state security and conduct unbecoming of a public officer under the Public Service Rules.

Some of the likely charges are:

*Action prejudicial to state security contrary to Rule 030402(a) of the Public Service Rules, 2006.

*Sabotage with intent to undermine the activities of the EFCC and the war against corruption by the Federal Government of Nigeria contrary to Rule 030402(t) of the Public Service Rules, 2006.

*Acts unbecoming of a public officer: in that the sum total of your conduct is prejudicial to discipline and unbecoming of a senior police officer, contrary to Rule 0304302 (w) of the Public Service Rules, 2006.

A senator, Ayo Arise, has called on the Police to tread softly on the Ribadu issue. Arise told reporters in Abuja at the weekend that if the matter was not handled with care, Nigeriaís image might be badly tarnished in the international community over the anti-corruption crusade.

While conceding that the Police could enforce their code of ethics on personnel, Arise said there was need to balance that with the right of an individual to seek redress in court.

He urged the Police to wait for the court judgment on the case before taking further action against Ribadu.

The senator said: "The challenge that I see in the case surrounding Ribadu is that we should always try to look at things in a very objective manner. Letís look at the issue of uniform: when the police authority wanted to set up a disciplinary committee, they were of the opinion that Nuhu Ribadu was not wearing his uniform at places that heís supposed to have worn this uniform. Eventually, they now set up a disciplinary committee for him to face court martial and orderly trial.

"Nuhu claimed that he doesnít know which rank he will wear, because he has gone to court to challenge his demotion from AIG. So, he is now relying on the status quo; but neither could he go to the new rank, so he decided not to wear a uniform."

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown