By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJAâ€”A Federal high court sitting in Abuja yesterday, refused a request by the pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to stop, exparte, (hearing him alone) the Inspector-General of Police, Ogbona Onovo, from executing the warrant for his apprehension and production before the Code of Conduct Tribunal scheduled to sit in Abuja, today.
Onovo had already enlisted the support of men of the International Police, Interpol, to trap down Ribadu in the United Kingdom or anywhere he might be for the purposes of extraditing him to Nigeria to face his trial even when the Attorney-General of the Federation has not commenced any extradition proceedings against him.
The proceedings is a requisite for the execution of the warrant of arrest issued by the tribunal against Ribadu.
But Ribadu who is facing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over his alleged failure to declare his assets is even contending that the warrant of arrest as issued against him by the tribunal was illegal since he was residing outside jurisdiction at the time it was issued..
But the trial high court judge, Justice M G Umar who, yesterday, declined Ribaduâ€™s invitation to stop, exparte, Onovo from executing the order, however,Â summoned the police boss to appear before him to explain why he should not be restrained from executing the warrant, given the circumstances under which it was issued.
Similarly, the high court judge yesterday also declined a separate invitation by Ribadu to stop, exparte, the Code of Conduct Tribunal from further sitting on the charge pressed against him by the Federal Government pending hearing and determination of his suit.
But the trial judge yesterday also summoned the tribunal to appear before him to show cause why Ribaduâ€™s request must not be granted. The tribunal is scheduled to sit today.
It has slated Ribaduâ€™s case as one of those to be tried if Onovo succeeds in producing him before the tribunal.
The judge said he would decide on the two requests by Ribadu after hearing both parties to the case.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal had on, 20 November, last year ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, to arrest the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, for refusing to appear before it.
The tribunalâ€˜s Chairman, Justice Constance Momoh, issued the order in Abuja after she was told that Ribadu was not before the tribunal to answer to charges of non-declaration of assets filed against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Justice Momoh said, “In line with our ruling of 23 October 2009, when we held that we will order the arrest of Ribadu if he failed to appear on the next adjourned date, we will make good that promise.”