- The Nigerian Federal High Court has upheld President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua decision to sack Mr Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja yesterday.
Mr Ribadu was removed from his position in December 2007 after the commission arrested and indicted on corruption charges a powerful politician who was known to be a close ally to the president.
Stamping the sacking, the High Court Judge, Mustapha Abdullahi, said the president’s decision to sack Mr Ribadu was constitutional further saying the Lagos lawyer Chief Ganiyu Fawehinmi who contested the sacking of Mr Ribadu had no legal right to contest after failing to convince the court about his private interest in the case.
Judge Abdullahi said the arguments presented by Mr Fawehinmi in the affidavit in support of the originating summons were insufficient to confer his legal right to contest.
"However, these facts are not enough to clothe him in immunity,” he said stating that a plaintiff must show that his private right has been infringed or injured or is about to be injured.
Judge Abdulahi held that Mr Ribadu's re-appointment was not in compliance with the provision of the law as he had not been confirmed by the Senate.
Late last year, the international rights organisations called for the protection of the former anti graft chief after receiving a series of threats made against his life. The organisations said the campaign of intimidation against Mr Ribadu was aimed at silencing him.
However, a spokesman for the police said the force had not received any complaints or reports of threats from Mr Ribadu or the police bodyguards assigned to him.
Despite pledges to allow the EFCC to pursue an impartial zero-tolerance effort to pursue corrupt officials, the government of President Umaru Yar'Adua has seriously undermined the fledgling anti-corruption efforts that began under his predecessor.
Mr Ribadu's four-year tenure drew praise from many Nigerians, who saw him as one of the few people willing to stand up against the country's political elite and root out all corrupt officials.
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