May 13, 2011

Ogoni: Ibrahim Auta Appointed Chief Judge

The judge who sentenced then UNPO Vice-Chair Ken Saro-Wiwa to death by hanging during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha, Ibrahim Auta, was yesterday confirmed as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court by the Senate

Below is an article published by Nigerian Compass


The confirmation came despite stiff opposition from many of the senators, including the Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum (Upstream)who described Auta as a “hangman” who was responsible for killing nine Ogoni sons, including Ken Saro-Wiwa.


“I am here to say, Sir, that my people of Ogoniland are very angry with the recommendation, and I want to put it on record that the judge was the judge the military used in 1995 to hang nine Ogonis of spurious charges; and today he has caused so much pains in Ogoniland. He has caused so much agony to Ogoni land.


“So, Sir, I put it on record that a judge that can be used to kill innocent civilians, depriving them of their fundamental human rights should not exist in a democratic nature. This man is an agent of the military, and now he is taking this power to be a High Court Judge. And if anything happens, we are all going to be hanged. He is a hangman himself; so he should not be cleared

“I am saying it and I will continue to say it that this man does not deserve this position,” Maeba said soon after the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Umaru Dahiru, took his seat after presenting the report of his committee clearing Auta.


But, Senate President David Mark stopped Maeba from further comments, saying: “Lee, it is okay; I have heard you. You have made your point and I think your people back home have also heard you.


“When the military was in power, they also had the judiciary. And I think the judiciary operated independently to deliver justice to the people and I think it is not proper to hang the military.”


He then put the issue to question and senators who supported the candidature of Auta had the day.


In the same vein, the Senate also yesterday unanimously confirmed former Edo State Governor, Prof. Osarhiemen Osunbor, as a member of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.