February 8, 2017

Power failure disrupts screening of ambassadorial nominees



…As nominee, Oguntade wants African nations out of ICC

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—Power outage yesterday disrupted the screening of the 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

The outage, which occurred some minutes after noon, did not, however, stop the senators from continuing the screening at Room 324 of the Senate New Building, as they continued the exercise in darkness.

This is as former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice George Oguntade, yesterday told the Senate that the current agitation by some African nations to pull out of the International Criminal Court, ICC, was justified.

Speaking when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, led by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, APC, Oyo,   Oguntade, one of the nominees from Lagos, said it had become imperative for some African countries to pull out of the ICC because Africans and poor countries were often victims of the organisation.

His response followed a question by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Senator Shehu Sani, APC, Kaduna Central, who asked of his understanding of circumstances behind the agitation by some African nations.

The nominee said there was a  feeling that international Criminal Court  had not been fair to African nations, adding that some powerful nations that commit similar criminal offences were not prosecuted at the ICC, despite being signatories to the convention that set it up..

Oguntade said: “Sometimes, some Africa leaders suffer at the ICC while those of other super countries are allowed to go free on the same offence that they all signed the convention on ICC and that feeling of unfairness is creating agitation now.”