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More blushes for Nigeria

More blushes for Nigeria

4 October, 2020


The recent outing of Justice Ishaq Bello during an assessment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) speaks volumes of both President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision-making process and the image Nigeria continues to garner on the international stage. Concerning the former, there is nothing but mystery to be found, as no one is clear on the criteria the president adopted in nominating the controversial jurist for the ICC position. In June, the president had nominated Justice Bello to be a member of the ICC jury, citing several qualifications. Not all the public outcry and international slamming could make the president rethink or withdraw his nomination, and the chickens coming home to roost do not look so healthy  not for the president and not for the country that voted him in.

Although the eventual selection of judges will take place sometime between December 7 and 17 this year, a preliminary assessment of all 20 nominated candidates  Justice Bello being the only Nigerian  has gone badly for both the jurist and Nigeria. For candidates to be elected they must garner two-thirds of the available votes, and it remains to be seen how the Nigerian can do that, having landed himself firmly in the lowest possible assessment rank. Justice Bello was deemed by the assessors as articulate and knowledgeable regarding criminal law and procedure at the national level, but lacking in the knowledge of the workings of the ICC.

This comes as no surprise to Nigerians who were scandalised by the judge’s controversial ruling in 2005 where he freed one Danjuma Ibrahim, who was accused of ordering the extra-judicial shooting and killing of six people  Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Augustina Arebu, Anthony Nwokike, Paulinus Ogbonna and Ekene Isaac Mgbe  and sentenced two junior officers to death. Mr Danjuma would later be promoted to Commissioner of Police and then Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG).

Earlier in September, the United States and United Kingdom issued visa bans to Nigerians whom they accused of complicity in electoral malpractices and the perversion of democracy. This worrying trend continues to depict Nigeria as a country that is either unaware of the difference between rights and wrongs or powerless in the face of manifest wrong. There is no way this looks good for a president who raised much hope in 2015 but has been nationally and internationally assessed as failing to meet these expectations.

The post More blushes for Nigeria appeared first on Smart9jaMedia.

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