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Falana challenges Code of Conduct Tribunal's declaration on Nuhu Ribadu

November 19, 2009

Lawyer to Nuhu Ribadu, Messrs Falana has reacted to the Code of Conduct Tribunal headed by Justice Constance Momoh, which today declared Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the EFCC wanted and a fugitive of the law in respect of suit number CCT/ABJ/01/2009, in which  Mr. Ribadu is falsely accused of not declaring his assets while in office, from March 2003 to December 2008.


Two months ago, on September 25, Mr. Falana, on behalf of his client, wrote to the Code of Conduct Bureau requesting certified true copies of the asset declaration forms Mr. Ribadu submitted upon his assumption of office in March 2003 and his exit from office in December 2008.

This was to enable Mr. Ribadu’s lawyers prepare his defence against the charges ahead of the trial on October 02, 2009.  The request is yet to be granted.

In restating the background to the case, Femi Falana, stated today, “While on a senior officer's course at the National institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Mr. Ribadu was severally investigated by the EFCC and Police over financial impropriety and treason charges.”

He further noted as follows:

    * On September 2008, Mr. Ribadu was shot at.

    * On December 23, 2008, he was dismissed from the force for insubordination. That same month, the Presidency announced an investigation into the foiled assassination bid, with no results till date.

    * On January 03, 2009 Mr. Ribadu fled Nigeria following more incidences of death threats.

    * In February 2009, Justice Minister, Michael Aondoakaa, filed the case against Ribadu and the Code of Conduct Tribunal served Mr. Ribadu notice of his trial.

It would also be recalled that on February 10 2009, Mr. Falana asked the Tribunal to guarantee the safety of his client who was willing to stand trial in Nigeria. The Tribunal has issued no formal guarantees.

In questioning the motive for declaring Ribadu wanted, the counsel to Ribadu ask why, “rather than question the Code of Conduct Bureau’s actions and compel it to release the sole documents in its possession which resolves without a doubt whether Mr. Ribadu declared his assets as stipulated by law, the Tribunal is declaring him wanted and requesting his arrest.”

Further, it said, “Even if Mr. Ribadu were in Nigeria, there is not much defence for him to tender so long as these documents remain with the Code of Conduct Bureau. “

The case will come up for hearing two weeks from today, on December 4, 2009.  It remains to be seen if, before then, the Code of Conduct Bureau will answer Mr. Falana's request and release the documents in accordance with the law.

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See letter of request below:

 

September 25, 2009

The Chairman,
Code of Conduct Bureau,
Federal Secretariat,
Abuja

RE:    SUIT NO: CCT/ABJ/01/2009 – FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  V. MR. NUHU RIBADU

REQUEST FOR CERTIFIED TRUE COPIES OF ASSET DECLARATION FORMS OF MR. NUHU RIBADU.

We   are the defence Counsel in the above-mentioned case.

As you are no doubt aware our client declared his assets upon assumption of office as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on March 14, 2003, in strict compliance with the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

Although our client was not formally removed as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes  by the President he declared his Assets on December 1, 2008 upon the completion of the Management Course at Kuru.

In the circumstances we have our client’s instructions to request for Certified True Copies of the said Asset Declaration Forms which were  submitted to your office at the aforesaid dates.

It will be appreciated if you can urgently attend to this application to facilitate the preparation of our client’s defence in respect of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal which has been fixed for 0ctober 2, 2009.

Yours sincerely,


FEMI FALANA ESQ.
(PP: FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS)

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