Justices who declared third-runner up winner refused US visas – Donald Duke


Former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke on Wednesday said the United States government has sanctioned some Justices in Nigeria.


Duke made the comment in Lagos at the launch of a memoir of retired Justice Charles Archibong. He served on the bench of the Federal High Court from 2002 to 2013.


The politician told the gathering that America slammed a visa ban on the Justices who delivered a verdict that made “a candidate who came fourth the winner of an election”.


Duke said their application to attend a Judges’ Conference in the U.S. were rejected, though their aides were given visas.


Legal luminary Olisa Agbakoka observed that the National Judicial Council, NJC, is controlled by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, who appoints 50 of its 60 members.


The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said the conditions of service of the judiciary are terrible, a situation that could make officials vulnerable.


“We should not put our judges in a position where they can be tempted,” Agbakoba warned in his remarks.


A former member of the House of Representatives, Abdul Oroh, while sharing his experience when he served on the Judiciary Committee, said some SANs are responsible for corrupting judges.


Duke’s information brings to mind the Supreme Court’s declaration of Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the 2019 governorship election in Imo after finishing as third-runner up.


The judgement, which removed Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as Governor was delivered on January 14 2020 by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun.


The panel included Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Justice Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Amiru Sanusi, Justice Amina Adamu Augie and Justice Uwani Musa Abba Aji.


The ruling created tension among supporters of Uzodinma and Ihedioha. The ousted governor, at some point, stayed away from the State, citing disturbing security reports.


Three weeks ago, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced visa restrictions on some unnamed citizens, reiterating U.S. commitment to advancing democracy.


“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” Blinken said.


Under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the individuals and certain family members will be found ineligible for visas to America.

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  1. American visa is not a gateway to heaven.
    America should take more serious measures to deal with these corrupt individuals that are undermining the democratic peace and stability of the nation.

    They should be allowed entry into USA, arrested and prosecuted for corrupt practices in Nigeria.


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