ByÂ Funmi KOMOLAFE
The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes CommissionÂ ( EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu has dared the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Aondoakaa to charge himÂ for treason vowingÂ toÂ meet theÂ later in court.
A shortÂ telephone interview with Ribadu in response to Aondoakaaâ€™s threatÂ went thus;
Q:Â What is your response to Aondoakaaâ€™s threat to sue you for damagingÂ the image of the country ?
A.Â I am categoricaaly denying that I didnâ€™t swear to any affidavit with the Metropolitan Police regarding the $38 millionÂ case Chief James Ibori has with the British Police.Â It isÂ a case that is being handled by the British Police onÂ their own.Â I have nothing to do with it.
IboriÂ should answer his caseÂ before the British Police.Â I dare Aondoaka atoÂ sueÂ me to court and weâ€™ll meet in court . If Ibori isÂ embarrassedÂ by the case,Â howÂ does that amountÂ to embarrassing Nigeria.Â Â Is IboriÂ equal toÂ Nigeria?
I like AondoakaaÂ to know thatÂ Â his role is beingÂ documentedÂ and very soon it will be exposed to the world.
In anyÂ case, how does exposing corruption amount to treasonâ€.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has said that it has not cleared ex-governors James Ibori, Bola TinubuÂ and Victor Attah
According to a statement by the anti-graft agencyâ€™s spokesman, Femi Babafemi;
â€œThe attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to reports in national dailies ofÂ today September 11, 2009 to the effect that the anti-graft agency has cleared some former governors who have been underÂ investigation.
â€œThe Commission wishes to state emphatically that it has not at any time or in any correspondence with the persons referred to in these media reports or any other person cleared them of complicity in all mattersÂ relating to them which are either in court or still under investigation.
It is therefore inappropriate to input or infer that the three former governors have been exonerated in mattersÂ that are still pending or yet to be determined by the law court which is the only competentÂ organ of government that can pronounce guilt orÂ innocence in matters like the ones under reference,â€ the statement added.
â€œThe Commission has to make this clarification in view of the volume of enquiries from concerned Nigerians so as to lay to rest all doubts and insinuationsÂ as to the position of the Commission and its leadership in all these.
â€œThe letter being referred to in these reports has noÂ specific impact or reference to the cases of the three former governors as it was only an advice to a bank on the operation of a companyâ€™s account and as such cannot speak for substantive cases being investigated.â€
â€œWhile not adjudging anyone quilty until proven so, the Commission wishes to restate that it has not in anyway declared the three former governors innocent of the allegations for which they are being investigated,â€ it said.