FORMER Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has made a dramatic re-entry into the political arena after he represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal proceedings today.
Between 2003 and 2007, Mallam Ribadu was the EFCC chairman, during which time, he enjoyed significant success recovering looted funds. During the course of his duty Mallam Ribadu was offered numerous bribes to pervert the course of justice, including a situation when a state governor offered him $15m and a house abroad to end investigations against him.
Following the election of President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, however, Mallam Ribadu suffered persecution as he was demoted from assistant inspector-general of police to assistant commissioner of police. He was removed as EFCC chairman and on November 22 2008, his graduation from the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies was aborted at the last minute.
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who was initially seated in the hall along with other graduands, was ordered out allegedly on orders from top administration officials. Since then, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party under whose platform he stood for Adamawa State governor in 2015 but he lost.
Surprisingly, Mallam Ribadu has not featured prominently in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government despite the administration’s war on corruption. Many political observers would have expected him to be a key member of the government but after four years of keeping a low profile, it appears that Mallam Ribadu may now be making a comeback.
This morning he showed up at the proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja. When the matter slated for the day, the petition filed by Hope Democratic Party and its candidate, Ambrose Awuru, was called, Mallam Ribadu announced himself as the representative of President Buhari.
Apart from Mallam Ribadu, Chief Wole Olanipekun, led President Buhari’s legal team, Lateef Fagbemi led APC’s team of lawyers. Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission was represented by its director of legal services, Oluwatoyin Babalola.