" /> Ambassadorial nominees and Buhari’s misplaced sense of reward | Hallmarknews
Published On: Mon, May 8th, 2017

Ambassadorial nominees and Buhari’s misplaced sense of reward



President Buhari’s appointment of Justices Oguntade and Nsofor raises questions of political patronage and our reward system.

Two of the names that stand out in the list of about 43 ambassadorial nominees sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari few weeks back for confirmation are Justices George Oguntade and Sylvester Nsofor. Both are eminent jurists, who retired from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal Court in 2011 and 2007 respectively after attaining the mandatory 70 years. It is not often or common that such people of high quality who are already advanced in age make the ambassadorial roll.

It is not that they are undeserving of the appointments. At over 70 and having attained the highest level and distinction at the bench, it is expected that they deserve some rest and respite from public life. A man who has worked till the age  70 needs a break from the official routine of waking up early every day to attend to duty. When will he have the privacy and enjoyment of a private life with his children and grand children. It is an unnecessary burden and encumbrance to what would have ordinarily been a good life.

It is not about money; justices earn their retirement salary as pension for the rest of their life. So why work for the money you don’t actually need? Neither is it about status and social class; a Supreme Court justice is not anyway lower or belittle before an ambassador which is purely a political assignment without any special requirement or qualification. For the political class it may not really matter because it is part of the patronage and reward system. But Justices of the highest courts in the nation deserve more dignity.

Beyond the apparent good intention of the president in their appointments there is something untoward and politically sensitive about the whole issue. Ordinarily, the appointment of an 84 year old man to represent this country abroad for the next four years should present a moral and circumstantial concern to the president and the senate. Age cannot be ignored and nature cannot be managed. Both appointments have to do with the personality of the president and his sense of reward for loyalty.

Recall that the president once defended his appointment of old friends and loyalists into strategic positions as the reward for their long standing loyalty.  It is the same logic and philosophy that occasioned and determined the appointments of these reputable men of law in their twilights as ambassadors. Both Justices have featured in the political career of the president and the appointments are appreciation for their service to him as an individual and not to the nation.

Justice Nsofor retired from the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal in 2007 a disappointed man. Brilliant, erudite and fearless, he could not make the Supreme Court because of quota system and his anti establishment tendencies. These qualities run in the family; he is the first cousin to late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa. Shortly before his disengagement from the bench he was part of the three man presidential election tribunal that decided the petition of candidate Buhari against the election of late President Yar’Adua.  It was a split decision in favour Yar’Adua and Justice Nsofor gave the minority judgment for Buhari.

The same scenario played out again in 2011 between Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan. In the past 20 years Justice Oguntade had represented a special class of judges in the country. A man of acute intellect, meticulously practical and a stickler for time and hard work, he is humorous without being trivial, firm and fair put together. While at the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal, he was always a delight to watch conducting the affairs of the court.

This writer remembers a confrontation between two legal heavy weights, Chief F.R.A Williams and Chief Sofola, SAN, with the later accusing the former of intimidation, and how he deftly maneuvered the testy situation leaving everybody laughing and satisfied. He was in the five man panel that decided the case for the election of Jonathan as president. Again it was a split decision of three to two and Oguntade gave it to Buhari.

This is not coincidental. We must understand that President Buhari is setting a bad and retrogressive precedents that actions taken by public to favour an individual could become a basis for reward by the state. What about our conscience and sense of fairness? Should public officers at any level perform their duties in anticipation of future rewards when they are employed and paid by the state? Were the Justices induced to take favourable positions in the two cases involving Buhari? Why should Buhari insist on appointing them personally instead of giving them the honour of nominating anybody of their choice? These are questions the appointments raise and Nigerians need to have answers.

For instance, Justice Nsofor comes from a fairly large family with scores of reputed professionals in any area of endeavour and could have easily seconded one of them. Why burden an aging, frail looking old man with another public responsibility he left 10 years ago when he should be resting his weak bones. It is a dangerous tradition that public service is for life.

Although the senate has approved the nomination of Oguntade, it will be a disservice to the nation to confirm Nsofor.  The president should grant him the privilege of nominating a replacement for himself so that he can go home and rest.



Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • PDP in fresh crisis over chairmanship zoning, threatens 2019

    By Obinna Ezugwu The December 9 Convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will be the most critical in its history; it is a convention that would, to a large extent, determine its fate and course for action ahead of the much awaited February 2019 general election and may also determine its chances of returning […]

  • Why South East should ignore President Buhari

    By UCHE CHRIS   President Buhari’s last week visit to the south east on APC campaign for Anambra governorship poll and his promise to give more appointments to the region is a clear and abundant proof that he is either a bad politician or he takes the Igbo for a fool. It is sad and […]

  • GTBank doubles stock value as investors go bullish

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU GT Bank’s share price has doubled in the last one year, leading investors to grin satisfactorily as there gambit on the stock seems to have panned out. The stock’s price has risen from N24.00 in January 2017 to N43.00 as at November 17, 2017, creating a capital gains opportunity of 79.2 per […]

  • Moody’s rating exposes poor state of banks

      .           Experts predict more recapitalization next year FELIX OLOYEDE Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country have been caught in the web of liquidity squeeze, capital adequacy challenge and the encumbrance of raising fresh funds  as Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) downgraded their long-term local currency deposit and issuer ratings. The credit rating agency lowered […]

  • Brain drain: Doctors, nurses’ exodus cripples Nigeria’s health sector

    By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA The mass emigration of health care professionals, especially doctors, pharmacists and nurses, is on the verge of crippling the nation’s health sector, Business Hallmark findings have revealed. Though, the mass exodus of these skilled health workers abroad for greener pasture has been on unabated over the years, it has now reached an […]

  • S&P rates UBA highly, affirms ‘B/B’ credit ratings

    FELIX OLOYEDE S&P Global Ratings has given United Bank for Africa (UBA) a B/B rating based on the rating agency’s interpretation of UBA’s competitive strength in the Nigerian banking market. The agency’s latest report released on Friday showed that the bank has benefited from a strong brand franchise in the corporate and retail segments of […]

  •  Nigeria: The disquieting nuisance of elitism

    By TESLIM SHITA-BEY   At the heart of Nigeria’s social and economic dysfunction is not just the usual suspects of tribe and religion but also, and quite disturbingly, the self-preening and self-adulation of Nigeria’s elite. The failure of the educated leaders of the country to bring about a collective sense of nationhood and build a […]

  • (Across the counter) University of Ibadan banking services waiting for relief

    Banks within university environment usually have a large turnout of customers. It wasn’t any different when our across the counter team visited some banks within the University of Ibadan environment to review the quality of service being rendered. Our criteria included bank professionalism, customer care efficiency, security consciousness, corporate environment and ATM efficiency. Here is […]

  • Time is ripe for rates cut, says Rewane as inflation slows further in Oct.

    FELIX OLOYEDE This is the appropriate time for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut benchmark monetary rates after inflation rate slows down for the ninth consecutive time in October, said Mr Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives. The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released Consumer Price […]

  • ELAN National Lease Conference Focuses on Revamping Nigerian Economy

    FELIX OLOYEDE In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 15th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on revamping the Nigerian economy. The conference which is the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry is expected to […]

  • Nigeria-centric restaurant, Labule, opens new outlet in Lagos

    Labule, Nigeria-centric restaurant, operated by an indigenous company, Roots Foods Limited, offering real Nigerian local delicacies in a unique environment that combines the setting of a modern quick service restaurant with that of an African setting of a local ‘buka’, has opened a new outlet on Admiralty Road in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The brand […]

  • Nigerian banks shine in Ghana

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigerian banks have been credited with “revolutionizing “the banking sector in Ghana, due to the many innovations they brought to Ghana’s banking sector. The Ghana Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said in Lagos that the innovation and transformation of the Ghana’s banking sector is credited to the […]

  • Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections, Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party […]

  • YolaDisCo sale stalled as no potential buyers emerge

    By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU Two years after the core investors of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YolaDisCo, declared a force majeure owing to their inability to operate under the reign of terror unleased by Boko Haram, the Federal Government is yet to find any investor interested in operating the utility company, it has been learnt. In […]

  • Company Analysis: Much Ado about Seplat

      By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The oil and gas sector has had a bumpy since the beginning of 2017 with local oil major, Seplat, seeing its financials whipped raw by prior year liabilities despite rising revenues over the nine months (9M). The company in the last two years has moved from being distinctively bad to singularly […]

  • How to start a photography business

    By ZUBAIR DANIE While photography could be accounted for as a full blown course in any offering institution of learning for professionalism, the field equally provides a platform for individuals whose passion it is to project images as a form of livelihood. The socio-cultural aspect of Nigerians that play host of events like: wedding, naming, […]

Visit us on Google+