Nuhu Ribadu reacts to Bode George’s sentencing

Our country will rise above the present rot!

The conviction of Chief Olabode George, former Chairman Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and four other board members, today at the court of Justice Joseph Olubunmi Oyewole, in Ikeja Lagos, marks a great reference point in the investigation, prosecution, and trial of corruption cases in Nigeria.

I salute the courage and intellect of the learned judge who has demonstrated over time that he is an exemplary reference point in the fight against corruption and for a true definition of rule of law in the country.

As is very well known, the successful resolution of cases in favor of justice and equity, commence from a thorough investigation. In this regard, we must also salute the long and strained investigation leading to the indictment of Bode George in 2005. At moments like this investigators, stretched out in exhilarating adrenalin, are rightly thrilled that their hard work is rewarded by the society and its best institutions.

It is a measure of the shamelessness of our elites and the institutions that fuel their values that Chief George could be awarded a national honour in our country, and that he could later sue some newspapers for libel on account of the damning indictment report I prepared against him.

Chief George’s subsequent prosecution is evidence that ultimately the law catches up with the bad guys.

Cynics will find therapy in the courageous stature of Justice Oyewole whose extraordinary example, in concluding a full trial of such a complicated case in just 14 months, ought to guide other courts where cases of grand corruption are still trapped.

Nigeria will be great again!

Nuhu Ribadu,

St. Anthony College

Oxford University

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

26 October, 2009