Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, told a three-member panel of the Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, that the Government of President Umaru Yar’Adua is plotting his assassination for exposing corruption allegedly involving former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori.
He said but for God, the assistance of well-wishers and good Nigerians, he would have been a dead man by now for daring to come to Nigeria after leaking how Ibori allegedly attempted to bribe him with $15 million to keep sealed lips on how he purportedly looted the treasury of his state during his eight-year rule.
Ribadu spoke through his counsel, Mr. Femi Falana, at the resumed hearing of the quasi-criminal allegation of failing to declare his assets while holding public office.
The proceedings held at the corporate headquarters of the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Jabi, Abuja.
According to him, he came to Nigeria about two weeks ago for two reasons including mourning his role model and ‘father’, late Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi (SAN) and to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal as ordered.
He said moments after he arrived the shores of the country, the Federal Government organised a man-hunt for him and declared that he had committed treason.
He fingered the Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) as one of the architects of the alleged plot to exterminate him.
Ribadu maintained that he was fingered as the mastermind of the renewed decision by the United Kingdom to prosecute two former governors of Delta and Akwa Ibom states, Chief James Ibori and Obong Victor Attah in the London court and was also accused of plotting to bring down the government of President Yar’Adua by painting it black abroad.
According to him, his well wishers, including his counsel, Falana, assisted him out of the country because they said they needed him alive.
Ribadu pleaded that he had no disrespect for the order of the tribunal but that it is only the living that could stand trial including the alleged spurious allegation against him.
He regretted that he would not be able to appear before the tribunal until an order was issued guaranteeing his safety in the country.