Nigeria’s Legislators Challenge British Disregard for Judicial Rulings

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The Nigerian House of Representatives has opened an investigation into British officials for reportedly ignoring court decisions that cleared businessman Benedict Peters. These officials from the National Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecision Service, and investigator Sara Melo are under scrutiny for not honoring Nigerian High Court acquittals.

Representative Aliyu Mustapha brought forward a petition from the African Committee on Judicial, Human Rights, and Legal Matters. He called for an urgent legislative probe to maintain Nigeria’s judicial independence and shield Peters from unfounded slander.

This petition highlights a past Economic and Financial Crimes Commission inquiry that cleared Peters in 2015. Despite no evidence of wrongdoing, attempts to harass Peters and seize his assets followed. The courts ultimately ruled such an arrest warrant from the EFCC illegal.

The African Committee’s petition demands an end to these attacks on Nigeria’s legal system and citizen rights. It notes a Federal Capital Territory High Court’s order for a N200 million payment to Peters after highlighting false statements by the EFCC, NCA, and CPS. The petitioners point out the British authorities’ ongoing neglect of these firm rulings, especially by Sara Melo.

Now, Nigerian lawmakers are stepping up to enforce their judiciary’s decisions and protect citizens from foreign disregard. This probe marks a critical step toward reinforcing judicial autonomy and the rule of law.

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