By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJAâ€”The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu may soon be arraigned over his alleged failure to declare his personal assets while in office, as the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which is prosecuting him, yesterday, said it would issue a bench warrant for his arrest, in the event that he fails to appear before it come November 20, this year.
The Tribunal stated this yesterday after it threw out an application filed by Ribadu through his lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, asking it to stay the ongoing criminal proceeding against him, pending the outcome of two separate appeals he has entered before the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, challenging theÂ jurisdiction of the CCT to prosecute him.
While dismissing the application as a calculated attempt to thwart his criminal prosecution, the CCT maintained that Ribadu was bereft of the right to seek for a stay, considering that he is yet to be properly arraigned before it, adding that it does not grant request made by fugitives in hiding.
Presiding Justice Constance Momoh who read the ruling yesterday, further recounted how the embattled ex-EFCC boss has frustrated efforts to commence a full-blown hearing into his alleged criminal offence on nine successive occasions through various frivolous applications, stating that the CCT would have no option but to compel him to return to Nigeria for trial should he fail to do so voluntarily on the next adjourned date.