Justice Ishaq Bello, Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja who was nominated by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has been ranked low for the ICC job along with six others by an International Criminal Court Committee.
Apart from Bello, nineteen others were nominated for the ICC job from United Kingdom, Belgium, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Brazil among others.
Currently, the only Nigerian on the ICC’s list of 18 judges is Justice Chile Eboe-Osuji.
Justice Ishaq Bello, who was nominated by Buhari to The Hague, was described by the ICC as lacking knowledge of the workings of the court and the Rome statutes.
This is according to a report of the Advisory Committee on Nomination of Judges on the work of its seventh session dated September 30, 2020.
The report states that Bello, who is the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court is fluent in English and knowledgeable in criminal law but seems to lack the required skill needed for the ICC job.
The advisory committee classified all nominees into four categories- highly qualified, qualified, only formally qualified and not qualified.
Justice Bello was designated as ‘only formally qualified’.
The report on the Nigerian judge read in part, “The committee noted that the candidate, currently Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria, has extensive judicial experience in criminal proceedings. The committee noted that the candidate was articulate and knowledgeable regarding criminal law and procedure at the national level.
“The committee noted that the candidate does not have direct experience in international criminal law and procedure based on his answers to questions regarding the functions and powers of pre-trial and trial chambers and the admissibility of evidence collected in violation of legal provisions, and did not have in-depth knowledge of the Rome Statute or the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court. He demonstrated, however, good general knowledge of how a judicial body should work in a multicultural environment. Here