Gani: A Flame That Glows Eternally By Nuhu Ribadu

Chief Gani Fawehinmi
By Nuhu Ribadu

After about four months on active duty in the Far- Eastern  country of Afghanistan and returning home to the warm embrace of family and friends, the just ended holy month of Ramadan was an opportunity to reflect again on our past and the future of our country.

What struck me most in the recurring discourses   was how everyone found a way to anchor their reflections in pain and regret that the great solicitor and advocate, Chief Gani Oyesola Fawehinmi, SAN, is no more. Especially at this time when the judiciary, touted as the last hope of the common man, has allowed itself to be mired in avoidable and needless controversies.

The belief was strong that if Gani Fawehinmi were with us today, all the dimness of vision regarding how to push our fortunes forward as a nation will not be here.  This generous outpouring of Gani-feelings allowed me to see clearly what the wisdom of our fathers meant when they said: 'an honorable person is the majority of one.'

The truth is that for those who project Gani Fawehinmi today in all their dreams of progress, and in all their expectations of a solution, the simple message is that: the one who is not forgotten is not dead.

As I write this very personal tribute, my thoughts jerk back to some of the many words of wisdom I picked from him in our years of association. Gani, for me, represented what I could call an ‘anecdotal imagination,’always spicing our discussions with anecdotes and wise cracks all laced in lessons of life.

One of such thoughts grips me today as it did the day it was offered in 2003, before commencing my assignment as the pioneer Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as Gani held me to a corner muttering that 'if one man guards a narrow pass, ten thousand others cannot get in.” This thought, that he kept repeating till he became very ill, meant to him that a day would make a week, that a tree would make a forest, and that the challenge, always, is to construct the logic of progress in a strategic way to make the achievement of the impossible seem easy.

The truth about Gani’s situation, however, is that although the man who passed away represented our armor against injustice, our shield against evil, he left a legacy of honour and hope that is best captured in saying that “when a leopard dies he leaves his coat, when a man dies he leaves his name.”  Today in many homes, schools, institutions, law offices and courts across the country, the name of Gani is a daily sacrament, and a reminder of a flame destined to glow eternally.

Today again, as on the first day that I met this titan and enigma, I doff my hat and salute someone who cheerfully mentored me, a man who many Nigerians remember for his extraordinary strength, versatility and character, for his passion, love and service to the poor, his genuine compassion, intelligence, transparent honesty, thoughtfulness, thoroughness; a man with a heart of gold!

Gani’s family and friends will remember him for different things, but as a youthful NYSC pupil lawyer my memory of Gani goes back to 1984. I first met him during the Special Military Tribunals of 1984-85, when I worked on the prosecution team. The then NBA had ordered the boycott of the tribunals, but Gani, full of daring as ever, defied the order, and in one of his appearances, openly thundered what struck my youthful imagination as an ethic of valued living. 'If you are standing upright, do not be concerned if your shadow is crooked', Gani said, reiterating that if one stands upright, always, posterity will judge one rightly.

Later in my legal career, I appeared three times against Gani in court. In one of the appearances, before the late Justice Junaid, of the Federal High Court in Lagos, after what turned out to be a knockout session, Gani turned kindly to me and said ‘Nuhu, to chop a tree quickly spend twice the time sharpening your axe' stressing the value of preparation to me and confessing that 'I am always extra prepared before any court appearance.' That would become an abiding advice that helped me greatly in my future court responsibilities.

Evidence of a connected principle in our fate came by way of our appearance before Justice Okeke, also of the FHC. We were part of a team led by the former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, in a case where Gani was leading a young partner, Adegboruwa. Although we won the case at the High Court and the Court of Appeal, Gani eventually gave us a bloody nose at the Supreme Court. Ironically, however, it was his victory that I later relied on to investigate serving Governors and other constitutionally immuned public office holders when I led the EFCC.

Years later, when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was set up, it was the same Gani who offered the philosophical template to guide our work. 'To move a big mountain begins by removing the small stones and with diligence and purpose you will achieve the impossible' he told me.

Towards his very last days, Kayode komolafe and I visited him at the terminal stage of his illness in London. For us it was a visit of homage, appreciation and honor but Gani still spared time to care. This was during my days in exile and it was so kind to hear him lift my spirit.  As he looked up and spoke softly, his thoughts were deep as ever:  'A paper tiger can not bear a close scrutiny' he said, dismissing those who build a career to malign me, urging me humorously to write in the sand the bad things done to me, but carve in stones the good things I want to remember.

Today in homage to the man I truly regard as a master, I say in response to your charge, it is your thoughts and vision that I have chosen to carve in stones. To this rare and true Nigerian hero, while wishing you eternal rest, I want to say, ‘sleep well, sir.’

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sick comments

this are the most pathetic comments ve ever read in my life. Why do we hate light this much and embrace darkness with both hands. Ribadu and gani trully respect and regard each other, so pls can we keep our negative political comments out of this. What surprises me is our value system, it is unbelievably sick. I challenge those critisizing Ribadu to pls list just 3 public officers that ve done better than he did while in office including your oppressors that oppress you everyday yet u worship them, ooh what a wasted generation of perverted minds shioooooo!!!


We sing praise of him while those that poisoned his body continue to perpetrate evil in the land. Gani's sickness was not normal, some entity deem him a threat and poisoned him, but was not aware that he will die that soon (Afterall, they wanted him dead).

Gani the greatest and the best

I thank Nuhu for his generous and kind words for Gani. He will for ever be missed by any human being who loves justice and what is right. I have never met and may never meet anyone as good, kind hearted, sincere and pure-minded like Gani. May he rest in perfect peace and May Allah protect his family.

Nuhu you did your best.

Nigeria is very complex society,for some people that continue to judge this intelligent and dynamic humanbeing called Nuhu. Nuhu have done is best in this country. But is nature of human, that what ever you did to them they will still judge. How many time Nuhu escape assisination,for just try to bring corrupt politican to justice. He went to exiled after many attempt on is life. He was even offer a job at one of the powerfull America institution in Washington DC, but he refused, he wanted to go back home, to see what he can do about corruption in Nigeria. The role he play in tackling corruption in Nigeria, where well respected by international community. Nuhu Ribadu have writting is name in history, by comfronting some corrupt politician. We must understand that corruption have engulfed Nigeria so deep, that it became way of life. we obsessed with power and wealth in Nigeria. For any develop society that have that way of life. It will take a long time, before it get to top.

Nigerians are an extremely

Nigerians are an extremely funny bunch with a peverted and wasped sense of justice.people are judged not on the common sense of guilty or innocent but by who their friends and perceived enemies are.Accusing Ribadu of pursuing only the enemies of Obasanjo does not answer the quetion of whether these men were and are indeed guilty of what they were accused of on not.Nigerians are very adept in blaming everybody and everything for his woes even if he is as guilty as hell,our politicians who are all dripping with corruption and bile will quickly blame his political enemies of witchunting him even though there is no justification for the stupendious wealth he enjoys,The result is a country that is so dead,its stinks up its ass.

Nuhu's Fault

I think the principal reason for which Ribadu is being pummel left and right was his refusal, as EFCC chairman, to diligently investigate and prosecute obasanjo and some of his acolytes.

The second reason was the partiality with which EFCC ,under him ,obviously conducted their investigations and trials, especially the obnoxious plea bargaining introduced into the Nigerian criminal system under Ribadu.

Apart from the above ,Nuhu must still be given his due credit for his achievement in EFCC, the principal of which is the restoration of hope in Nigerians that the fat cats and the sacred cows are really not invincible and that with the right leadership attitude, the fear of retribution can still be struck into the seemingly untouchables.

Of Nuhu, Gani and Nigerians.

It is despicable for Nuhu to ride on the back of the irrepressible Gani to respond to his critics. The fact is that Nuhu wasted the hopes and dreams of many Nigerians that expected him to clean the dirt in our polity for which the EFCC was established. Instead he was a willing tool in the hands of a vindictive President to scare, humiliate and frustrate his opponents. While he was on the job, he owed a duty to Nigerians and not to Obasanjo to discharge his functions with all fairness and integrity. What we witnessed however was selective justice, prosecution ochestrated by the President which amounted to nothing but sheer exercise of executive power. It is too late in my judgment for him to preach to the choir. The reality is that he failed his generation when called upon and nothing he does now will ever recompense for the lost opportunity nor vindicate him for his actions as the Head of EFCC.

Submitted by E don do! " I

Submitted by E don do!

" I confess I have not read this essay; I do not see why I should waste my time on what is obviously an attempt to cling on to the respectable robes of the departed warrior. Ribadu, you can only reclaim respectability when you demonstrate that your hands are clean. By unilaterally clearing the Jonathans of all corruption misdeeds without following the rules, by fighting OBJ's enemies knowing he was, by your own admission dirtier than sin, and by speaking out of both sides of your mouth, your image is damaged irretrievably.

If Gani were still alive he would not speak to you any more, so please take your hands off our Gani."

This is superb! For exactly the same reason, I just refused to read the rubbish from this shameless former OBJ 'henchboy'.

And if I were to comment on it, I would have raised virtually the same points, though I could not have put them as succinctly as you did!



Nuru and Gani

Nuru has been humble enough to write a tribute to his mentor. And this he has done masterfully and with candour. He has told us of what he has learnt from the sage. The sage even welcomed him at his death bed. He never wrote him off rather he encouraged him. He never saw him as an enemy - at trademark of the master. Who are we to judge their friendship ? We need to grow up and stop being emotional.

Who is a fool?

Frankwilliams or whatever you are called, you are a big fool. Who is a fool, if not someone that does not know different between Gani and the party formed by Gani? Thank God for Saharareporters that gives fool like you access to public arena. Repent, if not you will die being a big fool.

Nuhu's Write up

We do have a great problem as Nigerian citizens. You are right Olarenwaju in relation to your comment that our politicans understand our mind set which is why they are able to manipulate us the way they do even the uneducated and less intelligent ones.

In addition, the issues of ethinicity, tribe and worst at present religion are use to fuel politics and continues to cause a very huge divide, unnecessary sentiment and sometimes dissallows us to think objectively, widely and logically. I pray that we are able to resolve these issues.

Nigerian people need to liberate themselves by looking deeply into our values and re writting what our values are as Nigerian citizens.

Nuhu objectively

Lets be objective,1. No man not even Gani is pure.2.Nuhu wanted to be president(better him than some thief) he would need a party to do that,would you've prefered PDP.3.Gani always knew Nuhu's furstration with OBJ go and look for his interview.4. When your own people do not fund d EFCC relying on the US to do dat,then you mark him an enemy what do you get.pls read the wikileaks well, he was a man cornered.

Nuhu Ribadu on Gani

Thank you Nuhu, The future is bright! Very bright for all those who can still think straight in Nigeria of today. Any nation that will not celeberate her heroes is condemned to the worship of mediocrity. we belong in the same generation. my advice to you is that you should not be discouraged by the negative comments on this page or from any other hare brained Nigerian. The truth is that most Nigerians, as a result of curruption can no longer tell the difference between right and wrong simply because no one is being prosecuted for their currupt deeds!

As we remember Gani today, go back to the drawing board and start a mass movement of the underpriviledged accross our nation today. Do not wait for the next election cycle in 4 years time before beginning your campaigns for the presidency of this country.

The future is bright, the time is right for the Nigerian Spring!

God bless Nigeria

Nuhu Ribadu - The Greatest Impostor

Please stop mentioning Gani's name. Gani saw the Fraud called Obasanjo and Bola Tinubu.
But the fool in you allowed you to be used by both. It is too late for you. Having give Tinubu the false alibi he needed, your place in history is in the Garbage.
Again Gani being human did not see what your real colour is.


Of course, you'd miss Gani because, inspite of himself and his integrity, in the dead heat of his fight against corruption, he stubbornly supported your illegalities in your so-called fight against corruption, for instance in the illegal 'impeachment' by six members of the Plateau house of assembly of their governor, promptly overturned by the Cour of Appeal!

Gani was wrong then, he's even more wrong now that we know that your so-called fight against corruption was nothing but a farce.

Please allow Gani to rest in peace!


There is need for caution each time we want to make our contribution to an issue.
Nuhu,of course is entitled to his opinion,he's telling us about the value that Gani added to his life.Why must we crucify him for bearing his mind on somebody whom he can hardly forget?Please leave politics out of all these,i opined that NUHU is sincere and he had made his points.
Gani was not only an enigma,he was also the hope for the common man.

We need more Ganis,to make this planet Earth habitable.

Olusegun Sunday

nuhu: a slimy snake

you are a slimy trickster and a lying snake that speaks from both sides of the mouth. how dare you politicize and desecrate the memory of true statesman to insinuate urself into the good book of Nigerians? you are not in anywhere near the league of Gani. you are part of that evil establishment that normalize corruption in Nigeria and you play your role excellently.Poor OBJ corruptly enrich himself over and above thieving IBB under your watch as EFCC chairman and u were singing his praise as if he were a saint. never you try again to sully the name of a man who fought corruption till the day he died by using him cunningly to ingratiate ur tainted image to the Nigerian public.

Nuhu, you ran for President of Nigeria, but what is Nigeria?

Nuhu, you ran for President of Nigeria, but what is Nigeria?
Nuhu, as a young educated African of the x-generation, with relative exposure to the dynamics of western civil structure and human development most Africans expected, from you, a well articulated Vision on "Nation-Building" geared toward de-centralization of power such as obtained in EVERY developed nation of the world.
As at today there is no real country for any true African to want to be "President" of Nigeria without a fierce commitment with voters to the devolution of the central Powers. True Africans would line up behind anybody dedicated to moving Nigeria and Africa forward!

Ribadu has nothing in common

Ribadu has nothing in common with Gani. He must stop using Gani's name in vain.


I Join all men of good will to say THANK YOU to Gani . I just want to thank you for opening our eyes , thank you for mentoring Nuhu Ribadu for us to continue the fight . Iron sharpens iron goes the popular saying.
Thank you Gani , God bless your soul.

Gani is a man, uniquely

Gani is a man, uniquely created for our generation. But like a wasted generation we are, we wasted an opportunity. Gani may die physically, but his good work remains. We think of people who have made difference in peoples life, Gani has impacted many generations and he will continue to do that even in death. Gani may be gone but his spirit leaves on.
Gani we love you, especially those of us you represented during your life, May you rest in LORD. Sun re o, Gani.


May Almighty Allah grant Gani Aljannah firdausi. In the vain May HE grant the living the wisdom to be righteous and lead by the good teachings and examples learnt.


It is a shame that many of us have just shallow brains. Blinded and can also not smell a rotten egg call Nigeria.
We have nothing but mediocre, praise singers and those who are very satisfy with the status quo.
Irrespective of circumstance, Ribadu still remain one living hope.

Gani then Ribadu

Your write up here mean a lot to us the reasonable Nigerian. And i believe this that you "The truth is that for those who project Gani Fawehinmi today in all their dreams of progress, and in all their expectations of a solution, the simple message is that: the one who is not forgotten is not dead” Nuhu, you have done a lot and you can still more, do not relent in your effort to serve Nigeria better.

Gani then Ribadu

But i can always forgive you, because you are rare gem, i salute your courage to stand tall even when you have reason to bend to the wishes and call of the polluter, you have proved that being a Nigerian is not a mistake, you have made a mark in the sand of your time. I need not a persuaded that you loved Chief Gani, the true Nigeria Hero, you proved it by endangering your own life to come and pay last respect to the LAW - My Gani,

Gani then Ribadu

According to Prof. WS Nigeria is a nation that kills its best, that was when Cicero Ige was murdered for wanting to help it's nation out darkness created by the greedy Elites, he felt he could survived in the midst of wolves called Leaders. Nigeria has always had one man at a time to help her liberate from the claw of these retrogressive and visionless leaders, but reject their counsel and refuse to support them in their fight against the monsters. Gani like Baba Awo, Bola Ige has done their own part and left us, they left an indelible mark in the heart of both their friends and foes. My Nuhu, i do not admire you because you have not made mistakes, i don't like you because you have not served in a corrupt Government, i don't cherish you because your white robe has never been stained....



always using late Gani to make politics

always using late Gani to make politics because his name Gani is a muslim name. Why have ribadu not recognize anothe name like praising the new catholic bishop in sokoto. He is a hidden religious politician. Okay he is only praising the dead to win the yourbas' minds...ole! Or he wants to win the mind of sahara report as the main guy is a yoruba..ribadu will get you close and kill you with his reserved political mystics, beware sahara report.


It is a shame that many of us have just shallow brains. Blinded and can also not smell a rotten egg call Nigeria.
We have nothing but mediocre, praise singers and those who are very satisfy with the status quo.
Irrespective of circumstance, Ribadu still remain one living hope.

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