By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA – The federal government today threw more light on the reversal of its decision to demote and dismiss former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu from service by restoring his rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police with the minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri noting that Ribadu through his lawyers appealed to the Goodluck Jonathan administration for reconsideration of the matter since he (Ribadu) felt he was unjustly treated.
He explained that the 139 other Police officers of various ranks whoÂ were demoted in the wake of the Ribadu saga, did not writeÂ letters of appeal or request for reconsideration of their demotion by the Police Service Commission.
Alhaji Adamu Waziri who was speaking during an interactive session with the media in Abuja, pointed out that contrary to the belief that Ribaduâ€™s pardon was brought about by the Police Service Commission alone, his ministry which is the parent ministry, the Police High Command and the PSC, all worked together, reviewed the request and arrived at the decision.
His words, â€œYou all know that Nuhu Ribaduâ€™s relationship with the former administration was not too good and you all know his travails and all, which led to his demotion by the Police Service Commission after it was established that his promotions did not follow due process. You also know why he was dismissed after he failed to report in Benin where he was posted due to reasons he gave. He also did not appear before the Force Disciplinary Committee for some reasons he gaveâ€.
â€œBut his lawyers approached this government with an appeal for reconsideration of the two actions taken against him which were demotion from AIG to Deputy Commissioner of Police and dismissal and after due consideration, government thought it wise to reverse the decisions and retire him. It is not the first time government is taking such action. There have been many reversals if it is established that those involved were wrongly punishedâ€.
â€œFor the 130 others who had their promotions reversed on various grounds, I can tell you that as the minister of Police affairs, that none of them have appealed to my knowledge. It was only Ribadu that appealed. If any of officer appeals, we will give due consideration to the appeal and treat it on its merit and if such officer deserves to be reinstated to the rank, we will do so. Each case will be treated on its meritâ€.
On bail and torture by the police which were the planks of the complaints by Amnesty International and other civil rights bodies recently, the minister frowned at collection of money for bail insisting that it was free but pointed out that in some cases, bail cannot be granted when such cases are dicey ones that needed investigation.
He condemned torture saying â€œit is inhuman and I donâ€™t agree to illegal detention or agree to torture. As a Politician, these days we are endangered specie because these days after serving your fatherland, the tendency is that you are hounded and sometimes arrested. So one could be a victim of torture unjustly. That is why I abhor itâ€.