Nigerian nominee Ishaq Bello ranked low amongst 20 contenders for ICC job
Justice Ishaq Bello, the one Nigerian nominated for election to the Worldwide Prison Court docket (ICC) jury in 2020, might have fluffed the nation’s probabilities after a poor efficiency within the evaluation train.
The ICC, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, prosecutes worldwide crimes, crimes in opposition to humanity, battle crimes, genocide, and aggression by nationals of the 123-member international locations.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in June nominated Mr Bello, the Chief Choose of the FCT Excessive Court docket, for the competition. He was among the many 20 nominated for the election scheduled for the nineteenth session of the meeting of states events.
The meeting will likely be held on the United Nations, New York, from December 7 – 17.
In accordance with the Rome Statutes, each three years, the Meeting replaces one third of its 18 judges by electing six new judges for non-renewable phrases of 9 years.
For candidates to be elected, they need to garner two-thirds of the votes from the state events.
As contained within the assertion of nomination submitted to ICC, Mr Bello has served as a Justice of the Peace, authorized adviser, deputy Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court docket of Nigeria), choose and appearing chief choose.
Extra so, he had served on a number of bar and bench committees earlier than his appointment as a member of the Nationwide Judicial Council (NJC).
“He has additionally held high-level positions, together with chairing election petition tribunals and Presidential Committee on Jail Reforms and Decongestion (PCRD), amongst others. He’s very accustomed to the workings of the court docket, having led quite a few Nigerian delegations to numerous worldwide fora.
“Justice Bello has a number of publications to his credit score, together with papers introduced in the direction of advancing the judiciary. He’s a member of a number of notable skilled our bodies. He’s presently the Chief Choose of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Excessive Court docket of Justice in Abuja, Nigeria.
“As Chief Choose, one among his core duties contains supervisory authority over the court docket’s judicial and administrative capabilities. He’s additionally chargeable for the project of circumstances and within the course of ensures that judicial work is equally distributed. His deep information and sensible expertise of the Court docket, allied to his confirmed management expertise, make him uniquely certified as a choose of the Worldwide Prison Court docket,” the Nigerian authorities stated.
Because of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which discourages bodily conferences, the advisory committee on nomination carried out interviews by way of digital means between August 12 and August 28 with the 20 candidates introduced for the election.
Primarily based on its requirements, the candidates, after evaluation, are graded beneath three ranges: ‘Extremely certified’ – the candidate excels when it comes to the expertise and information concerning the Court docket and its jurisprudence; ‘Certified’ – the candidate has some related expertise and information concerning the court docket and ‘Solely formally certified’ – the candidate that meets the necessities set out within the Rome Statute for election as a choose however unsure if the candidate might make a noteworthy contribution to the work of the Court docket.
Nevertheless, in accordance with its report, solely 9 candidates are “Extremely Certified” whereas three fall beneath the “Certified” class and 7 are ranked “Solely Formally Certified”.
Mr Bello belongs within the third class, the bottom earlier than disqualification.
The committee famous that Mr Bello, though articulate and educated relating to legal regulation and process on the nationwide degree, lacks the information of the workings of the ICC.
“…primarily based on his solutions to questions significantly relating to participation by victims and the capabilities of the Pre-Trial Chamber (but additionally different areas), the candidate appeared notably to have a really restricted information of the Rome Statute, the practices and procedures of the Court docket and its jurisprudence.
“Primarily based on each his skilled expertise in addition to his solutions in the course of the interview. and taking into account significantly his lack of detailed information of the workings of the Court docket, the Committee concluded that the candidate was solely formally certified for appointment as choose of the Worldwide Prison Court docket,” the committee’s report learn.
Dent on profession
Whereas Mr Bello’s poor score and information of the ICC may fit in opposition to his candidature, he’s finest remembered in Nigeria for a controversial ruling that freed a police officer who ordered the taking pictures of six individuals in 2005.
It was a unhappy case of extra-judicial killing of Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Augustina Arebu, Anthony Nwokike, Paulinus Ogbonna and Ekene Isaac Mgbe, popularly known as the ‘Apo Six.’
The judicial panel of inquiry discovered the police account that the victims have been armed robbers to be false and really helpful the officers concerned for trial.
The 5 accused officers and eight different police witnesses testified that the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Danjuma Ibrahim, ordered the killings.
After greater than a decade of protracted court docket proceedings that left the victims’ households emotionally and financially drained, judgement was delivered by Mr Bello.
Two of the officers concerned have been convicted and sentenced to dying on March 9, 2017, in a landmark judgment of the FCT Excessive Court docket.
However the presiding choose, Mr Bello, stated “there was not sufficient proof to convict Mr Danjuma,” whom the law enforcement officials stated ordered the shootings.
After the ruling, Mr Danjuma was reinstated and later promoted to Commissioner of Police after which to Assistant Inspector-Basic of Police (AIG). PremiunTimes