The news media report that the panel of judges at the Supreme Court of Nigeria today quashed the conviction handed Bode George a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain earlier jailed for corruption by a Lagos High Court.
The court discharged and acquitted Mr. George
claiming that prosecutors at the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) had no evidence of Mr. George's intention to commit
fraud at the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) where as chairman of the NPA
board he was caught presiding over a contract bazaar the bled the nation
A panel of judges headed by a controversial judge,
John Afolabi Fabiyi JSC, ruled that the charges of "contract splitting"
upon which Mr. George was convicted is unknown to law.
pattern of today's quashing of George's conviction was similar to that
of a Lagos Court of Appeal ruling which similarly quashed a death
sentence conviction of Major Hamza Al Mustapha's for the murder of
Alhaja Kudirat Abiola in 1994. In Lagos, a panel of Court of Appeal
cleared former Chief Security Officer of late maximum dictator, Sanni
Abacha Mustapha of murder charges under controversial circumstances. Al
Mustapha later wrote a letter thanking President Jonathan for arranging
his judicial pardon.
Al Mustapha case was handled by the same
lawyer, former president of the Nigeria Bar Association , Joseph B Daudu
was Al Mustapha's lawyer in the Lagos case. Mr. Daudu, a senior
advocate of Nigeria, also played a lead role in securing Mr. George's
Since leaving prison a few years ago, Mr. George
had been closely linked to President Jonathan, even sometimes openly
bragging that his conviction will be upturned.