Gambia Pulls Out Of International Criminal Court

Gambia has announced that it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court, the third African country to declare its departure in just two weeks.

Explaining the country’s decision, Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said on state television late Tuesday that the global judicial body was really an “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans.”

Last Tuesday, Burundi announced its own intention to leave the court and on Friday, South Africa did the same. Then came Gambia, the tiny West African country. There are worries that this could be the beginning of an African exodus from the court, a dwindling membership on a continent with a long list of conflicts and human rights abuses to adjudicate.

Experts believe Kenya, Namibia and Uganda could be among the next countries to leave the court.

For years, many African nations have claimed that the ICC, which was established in 2002, is biased against the continent’s leaders. Nine of its 10 current investigations involve African countries.

The decision of three successive countries to leave the court could mark a watershed moment for an institution whose legitimacy is derived largely from its members’ consent. No country had previously withdrawn from the ICC.

Gambia’s announcement to withdraw might have been the most acerbic of the three countries.

“There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted,” Bojang said.

Gambia’s own human rights record has frequently come under scrutiny, particularly the government’s decision this year to crack down on some political opponents of President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the country since taking over in a coup in 1994.

Read More: washingtonpost

Judge Pulls Out Of Saraki’s Trial, Wants Case Reassigned

A High Court judge who granted an order that appeared to halt the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over alleged corruption, has stood down from the case.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court excused himself from the case on Wednesday, and transferred the matter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, for reassigning, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

He said he took the decision due to “negative reports”, NAN reported.

Mr. Saraki is facing a 13-count charge of alleged corruption and false declaration of assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

He denies wrongdoing and says the case was instigated by those angry he became the Senate president.

Read More: premiumtimesng

OPC Pulls Out Of Pipeline Surveillance Contract

The Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, said it would pull out its men from guarding all Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipelines nationwide from yesterday.

Mr. Yinka Oguntimehin, spokesman for Gani Adams faction of the congress, said this in Lagos yesterday. Oguntimehin said it became necessary because the corporation had yet to start paying for the work its men were doing.

He said the corporation was, as part of the contractual agreement entered into three months ago, expected to start payment.The spokesman said OPC personnel had continued to guard the pipelines with the belief that the corporation would pay as promised.

He said: “When we were given the contract on March 15, it was agreed that they will release money for OPC personnel for effective protection of NNPC pipelines nationwide. “We lost one man last month because of the activities of the vandals here in Lagos, while some of our men were arrested in the course of protecting the pipeline.

“We had told them to release some of our money before the new administration took over, but they kept promising us.

“Enough is enough. Three months have passed since our members started monitoring the pipeline, and we have fulfilled our part of the agreement.

“By 10p.m. today (yesterday), our personnel will move out of the NNPC pipelines nationwide and this applies to other groups in the country.”

Government had in March awarded a multi-billion naira contract to OPC to secure NNPC pipelines in the South-West region.

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