Nigerian Constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze has advised former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to stop whipping up sentiments to curry favours with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He challenged Ribadu to adduce solid evidence in denial of the facts that his impugned actions as Chairman of the EFCC were not subversive of the Nigerian Constitution, adding that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ribadu’s so-called war on corruption was nothing but a futile and ill-motivated vendetta against opponents.
Ribadu, had while speaking at a Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama on Thursday December 1, on the theme, “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents,” accused Nwabueze as among notable Nigerians who frustrated his efforts as EFCC Chairman to fight crime.
But reacting, Nwabueze, in a statement signed by himself and made available to Ripples Nigeria said, “My attention has been drawn to what Mallam Nuhu Ribadu said about me. He said, among other things, that I, with others, teamed up with politicians to frustrate and undermine the country’s efforts to fight corruption, and to discredit the work he, as Chairman of the EFCC, was doing in prosecuting the war.
“Apparently, Nuhu Ribadu was reacting, as he is entitled to do, to what I wrote about him in my book, Current Issues and Problems in the Workings of Constitutional Democracy in Nigeria (2011), pages 92 – 101, titled Subversions of the Constitution by Nuhu Ribadu in the name of the War Against Corruption.
“What the public expects of Nuhu Ribadu is, not just to whip up sentiments in favour of himself, to play to the gallery or to curry favours with the Buhari Administration, but to adduce concrete evidence in rebuttal of the facts stated in my write-up, in order to show that his impugned actions as Chairman of the EFCC are not subversive of the Nigerian Constitution, and what positive effect his subversive actions have had in curbing or eradicating the rampancy of corruption in Nigeria.”
Not shifting grounds on his position on how corruption must be fought in Nigeria, he said, “I have consistently maintained, and will continue to maintain, that we should fight corruption relentlessly but that a total war on the cankerworm unrestrained by constitutional limitations on power is fraught with the danger of the emergence of personal rule.
“In terms of checking, reducing or eradicating the incidence of corruption in the country, the truth is that, far from being checked, reduced or eradicated, corruption has vastly increased in its incidence despite the subversion of the Constitution ostensibly in the name of the war against it. This shows that Obasanjo’s and Ribadu’s so-called war is nothing but a futile and ill-motivated vendetta against opponents.”
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