DRESSED in black – trousers, jacket and shoes – with a white shirt and red tie, the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss was led into the courtroom by one of a judicial clerks around 2.25 p.m.
Mr. Nuhu Ribadu performed the traditional oath swearing by placing his left hand on the Holy Quran as he was led to go through the lines to affirm that he would be giving truthful evidence.
Within a minute, Crown Prosecutor Sasha Wass started her cross-examination. Looking relaxed, calm and often responding to the prosecutor’s questions with a smile and “yes, mum,” Ribadu held the court spellbound as he disclosed how Ibori was ‘desperate’ for him to take a $15 million cash bribe which the former governor allegedly gave him in Senator Andy Ubah’s house in the presence of the then Head of Operations, Ibrahim Lamorde and another official of the EFCC, James Garba. Lamorde is now Chairman of the EFCC.
He also told the stunned courtroom how Ibori later allegedly sent four hired killers after him following the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s rise to power and the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa, let the former oil-rich Delta State governor off the hook. Ribadu disclosed further, how, after he refused taking the alleged cash bribe, Ibori desperately begged him to “just pocket the $15 million and send me a clearance letter.”
Ribadu, who gave graphic details of how on a day Ibori was holed up at the Abuja residence of a former Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was moved to shed some tears towards the end of his over one hour of cross-examination.
He claimed that two assassination attempts were made by Ibori’s people on his life, one in Jos and the other in Abuja. He further claimed that Ibori promised he would “be dismissed from the Police Force” and removed as “EFCC Chairman,” the moment the administration of the late Yar’Adua came to power.