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I swear, Ribadu never visited Nigeria - Hakeem Babalola

September 20, 2009

Image removed.It has been brought to my attention that the former EFCC chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, sneaked into our dear country in his desire to pay his last respect to one and only man of all season, the late Gani Fawehinmi. Let me use this opportunity to dispel the rumour. Because it is nothing but rumour! In a simple and plain language, Ribadu never touched Nigerian soil during the period in question. Gosh, this is my first official assignment to Lagos since I assumed office some weeks ago. For those of you who do not know, Malam Ribadu is now in exile in England, where he is pursuing a course on how to destabilise our great nation. He is wanted for treason. So how can anyone possibly think a criminal of this magnitude would slip away without my knowledge as the Inspector General of Police? I found it repugnant and silly.

Please ignore the statement made by the Lagos Airport Command, Sam Anele, who was quoted in the Sunday Punch September 13 that the Police had no reason to arrest Ribadu saying, “he is not a wanted person”, and that “he is free to come into the country and go out at any time”. Obviously, he is an uninformed officer.{youtubejw}5gMXfJ58sFA{/youtubejw}

Ribadu is a felon and no question about the fact. The Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Honourable Chief Michael Aondoakaa, has made this clear. He knows better and has since established a case against the former EFCC chairman whom our dear government regarded as enemy. Aondoakaa, a man of fighting spirit against corruption and injustice, had just jetted out of the country to the UK to protest the invitation of two ex-governors -James Ibori (Delta) and Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom) who are being unlawfully prosecuted. I am sorry for the little digression. Of course Ribadu has denied the allegations, and has since challenged the minister to back his allegations with concrete evidence. But such response is another offence, for it is abominable in law to challenge or imply that the Attorney General is a liar. We shall charge him for a concocted lie against one of the honest men in our land.

I personally do not bear grudge against the former EFCC chairman but truth must be told. It seems he is a radical and there is no place for radicalism in the Nigeria Police. We are bunch of patriots who have accepted to serve our nation to the best of our ability. And we have never found wanting. Forget about N20 toll collection and other egunje. Every Nigerian has a way of getting theirs.

Sentiment apart, remember that Ribadu himself declared in his tribute message inside the national newspapers that it was quite unfortunate because he won't be able to commiserate with members of the late Gani Fawehinmi's family, or pay his last respect to a beautiful man he called mentor, father and friend. How come some disgruntled gentlemen of the press now insinuating otherwise! They keep saying they saw him there and here. They say he wore a white agbada. They say he went to the Chief house and from there to see his corpse. Does it mean that the security of our great nation in jeopardy? My friend, the mortuary where they say Ribadu went is a stone throw to Police College! Let me make one thing clear. Even if Ribadu had disguised as a woman, my men would have spotted and captured him. Apart from that, our SSS men are at alert and competent enough. So therefore someone like Ribadu cannot creep stealthily up to my door without being apprehended. I am sure Ribadu being a former cop will never take such foolhardy or bravado chance.

Meanwhile I have been following the antics of the press. It seems to me that some journalists are bent on destroying the good work of our able and intelligent president, Alhaji Umaru Yar"Adua. But Ins-ha Allah they will fail. We in the Police will fight...we shall protect the president in whatever form.

By suggesting that Ribadu came into the country without my knowledge means one thing: undermining the security of our great country. Let me say at this juncture that our security is tight. No cause for alarm. Ask yourself this simple question: where is the Boko Haram that tried to test our security?Those Nigerians calling themselves citizen journalists and who are based abroad are the guiltiest. But why are they carrying rumour of this magnitude. That Ribadu sneaked into the country! And home based Nigerians have since joined them calling my denial as reckless. What exactly do they want to achieve by spreading such rumour? Are they implying that my men are inept? Or are they trying to ridicule me and my force? That Ribadu visited the country without my knowledge? What kind of country is this self? I reiterate here that the former chairman of the Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, never set his foot on our country since he left for his other country. Talk less of commiserating with the family of the late human rights activist.

Some of you may be saying this man called Ogbonna Onovo is stupid to have issued such press release, denying a visit so obvious. After all, people are insisting that they watched Ribadu on television, as he was condoling with the late legal icon in his Ikeja residence. Well, it shows how confident I am about the whole thing. It is troubling how our minds work in this country. Rumour...rumour in the east...rumour in the west...rumour up north...rumour down south... rumour...rumour of security breach. In view of this, I challenge journalists to show the pictures of the former EFCC chairman they snapped while he was in Gani's residence. Who took his (Ribadu) photograph when he came to Nigeria? I want you to show me the photograph you snapped him when he came to Nigeria. I have yet to see the real photograph of Ribadu taken with the family of the late Chief Fawehinmi. Of course, I have seen one or two photographs being circulated on the Internet, purporting to be the real photograph. But I tell you it is not. It is fake nothing but fake. It is a digital photo. Hum, gone were the days when photographs don't tell lies.

The photo was not taken on September 2009 but much earlier, perhaps when Chief Gani was alive. Ribadu's picture was probably inserted between Gani's family member photo. Even if the former EFCC chairman did sneak into our dear country, you know who or what to blame. Don't you? Please go and unleash your anger or frustration about lack of security on the Immigration and, or SSS. The two bodies are responsible for arresting any returning run away criminal and not me, Ogbonna Onovo, the boss of the great Nigeria Police Force. Say you dey hear me? Don’t forget that I am interested in "intelligence-led policing”. For now, I won't say more than that.

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