Following PREMIUM TIMES report that exposed how former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Alfa Belgore, helped British firm, Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID), to secure the arbitral award of $9.6 billion (N3.2 trillion) against his country, Nigerians have taken to social media to express shock at the revelation and are demanding that the former CJN is made to answer for his role.
Mr Belgore, who was head of the Supreme Court between 2006 and 2008, painstakingly analysed Nigeria's laws, exploited its shortcomings and cited case laws for the benefit of the British firm.
In August 2019, the UK's Business & Property Courts granted P&ID's request to enforce a 2013 award against Nigeria by a three-member arbitration tribunal.
The tribunal relied on the Arbitration Act 1996 (England and Wales) and the Nigerian Arbitration and Conciliation Act 2004.
The amount standing against Nigeria is about 20 per cent of the country's foreign reserves, and if executed, the consequences will be unpleasant for every Nigerian, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.
Lawyers told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Belgore was in clear violation of the Constitution for working for P&ID and should be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
"Saboteur per Excellence"
Angered by the role played by Mr Belgore against Nigerians wants him to be tried and punished.
Below are some of the angry reaction of Nigerians on Facebook and Twitter after PREMIUM TIMES' story.
"Saboteur per excellence! NASS should come up with a law that can handle this kind of personalities in the law profession. Patriotism should team up to override any professional misdemeanours. The other time Falana was depending Zakzaky despite the fact that his followers were killing law enforcement agents at the slightest provocation. Laws are made to protect citizenry not cheat them," Mohd Abdulkadir wrote on Facebook.
"This is treason. If it was in China, he's finished but in Nigeria, just one or two calls and he'll be let off the hook, order from above,"@lookingupright said on Twitter.
This is treason. If it was in China, he's finished but in Nigeria, just one or two calls and he'll be let off the hook, order from above.
- Only God (@lookingupright) September 14, 2019
"It is the case of a corrupt person not willing to do away with his corrupt garment. Nigerians and the law are waiting and watching," Emma Akpasubi said on Facebook.
Jay Waref: Good work Premium Times, please make sure this violation is not swept under the carpet."
Ojay Lawrence: "This is baffling, even someone of such statue, who obviously has benefitted so much from this country can be so unpatriotic?! Goodness! If this report is true he must be made to face the consequence of his actions against the country."
More Nigerians have the following to say on Facebook:
Buchi Uzowulu: Is the former CJN still liable to prosecution by CCT as a retired judicial officer? If so and if this be true, then he should face prosecution.
Niyi Karunwi: Belgore has always been getting away with his nefarious activities. Unfortunately, this won't be an exception.
Patrish Ojeba: This man is wicked after stealing from the masses for years he still goes ahead to further impoverish the masses with his greed because whether we like it or not dis debt is going to be serviced from d pockets of me and you?
Aliyu Dauda: "He should be called upon to pay the price of his treason against his country after getting more from it."
Muhammad Bello: "This is one of the unpatriotic people who happened to head the country's judiciary. Sad"
Abiola Braimoh: "What you are dealing with is the character of the Nigerian ruling elites. They expect patriotism from other people but in every way, they are driven by greed,"
Gabriel Egbule: "This unfortunate event depicts the highest level of official treachery, corruption and mendacity. It is tantamount to plotting and executing an economic coup against his country Justice Belgore must not be allowed to get away with this devious malfeasance."
On Twitter @hyperbase01says: "Some humans won't ever accept responsibility even when clearly their actions or inaction qualify as the culprit."
John Oko: "Is Alfa Belgore a Nigerian? He is one of the Fulani mercenaries whose only interest is to pillage our resources and give themselves titles like GCFR, GCON etc. This is international scam/419 aka yahoo-yahoo. The AGF/EFCC should quickly arrest and prosecute him for 419 & treason."
Is Alfa Belgore a Nigerian? He is one of the fulani mercenaries whose only interest is to pillage our resources and give themselves titles like GCFR, GCON etc. This is international scam/419 aka yahooyahoo. The AGF/EFCC should quickly arrest and prosecute him for 419 & treason.
- HRH John Oko (@JohnOko93660153) September 14, 2019
Another Twitter user, @adeniyi_owolabi said the former CJN should be ashamed of himself, "the interest of Nigeria that took him to the height of his career as a judicial official never mean anything to him. Walter Onnoghen deserves an apology"
This former CJN should be ashamed of himself, the interest ofNigeria that took him to the height of is career as a judicial official never mean anything to him. Walter Onnoghen deserves an apology
- Owolabi Adeshina Adeniyi (@adeniyi_owolabi) September 14, 2019
"It's unethical and a strike against him. Everything about this thing stinks to high heaven", @mino_touri tweeted.
Its unethical and a strike against him. Everything about this thing stinks to high heaven
- Mino Taur (@Mino_tauri) September 14, 2019