The Nuhu Ribadu In Hon. Dino Melaye


Without gainsaying, the present travails and undue persecution being faced by Hon. Dino  Melaye in the House of Representatives can be likened to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s experience in  the Nigeria Police Force under the then leadership of I.G. Mike Okiro (retd.).

Going by the alarm raised over corruption in a no-holds-barred presentation made by Justice  George Oguntade of the Supreme Court at the 2009 Annual Law Week of the Benin Branch of the  Nigeria Bar Association in Benin on Monday, June 22, 2009, where the learned judge warned  the Nigerian citizenry on the danger inherent in endorsement of corrupt practices “that was  glaringly inimical to the survival of the country”, there is need for stocktaking  collectively as a nation as far as the fight against corruption in the land is concerned.

The legal luminary, as reported on page 7 in the Punch edition of Tuesday, June 23, 2009,  also berated lawyers in the country “for aiding corruption” and “accused them of being used  as avenues to compromise judicial office holders in the country,” adding that “the  corruption menace deserved the concerned efforts of the citizenry” to combat.

He also averred that “the problem of corruption in Nigeria has assumed a worrying dimension”  and concluded in the biblical language that “we have done those things we ought not to have  done and failed to do those things we ought to have done”.

Patriotic citizens such as the Chairman of EFCC, Chief (Mrs.) Farida Waziri, ICPC Chairman,  Justice Emmanual Ayoola (rtd.), the former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Major General  Ishola Williams (retd.) and the eleven anti-corruption and conscience-driven lawmakers in  the House of Representatives led by Hon. Dino Melaye, have no doubt risen to the wake-up  call by Justice Oguntade but the price paid for their patriotism is well known not only in  our country but to the whole world.

The all-time vibrant and enterprising rumour mill in our polity is being subtly employed to  run down the good works of the incumbent Chairman of EFCC, while the concerted patriotic  calls by the duo of the ICPC Chairman and Major Ishola Williams (retd.) on public office  holders to shun corruption continue to fall on deaf ears.

The humiliation of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic  Studies where he was denied graduation with his course mates and his demotion from the rank  of an Assistant Inspector General of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police (his new rank  has now been restored) stood out as his reward for his internationally acknowledged selfless  service that he rendered towards stamping out corruption from his fatherland.

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Hon. Dino Melaye and his group in the House of Representatives were suspended for an  indefinite period for calling on their colleagues and the House Speaker to toe the path of  honesty and accountability in the manner by which public funds were being administered in  the House.

To say that our House of Representatives as presently constituted without the suspended 11  members has been facing credibility problem from the Nigerian public and civilised nations  of the world since the inglorious and inhuman treatment meted out on Hon. Dino Melaye  masterminded by the House Speaker and his comrades in the House is to say the obvious.

President Goodluck’s intervention in the travails of Malam Nuhu Ribadu in the hands of the  Nigeria Police Force no doubt saved Nigeria from the accompanying embarrassment faced by our  country while his humiliation lasted during the Yar’Adua administration.

It is also hoped that the Mr. President will also use that milk of kindness flowing in him  to call the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and his cohorts to order  by ensuring a return of the suspended members in the House without any further delay. By so  doing, the President would have been seen to save our country from further embarrassment.

Closing of eyes to institutionalised corruption in our House of Representatives, as is  unfortunately the case today, will not augur well for the fight against corruption in the  larger society. May God save our country which, 50 years after independence, is still  gasping for air of freedom under the weight of the CORRUPTION monster that has no doubt  continued to ravage our nation.

•Odunayo Joseph, an ex-staff of Nigerite Limited, writes from Mopa, Kogi State. Tel:  08053488121.

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