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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the judgment of the supreme court affirming President Bola Tinubu’s victory.

On Thursday, the seven-member panel of the supreme court agreed that the petitions of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of Labour Party (PDP) were devoid of merit.

Obi and Abubakar had separately sought to overturn the judgment of the presidential election petition tribunal which upheld Tinubu’s election as president.

In a statement, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said the opposition party is “appalled” by the verdict.

Ologunagba said the majority of Nigerians are “alarmed, disappointed and gravely concerned with the reasoning of the Supreme Court”.

The party said the judgment is against the “express provisions” of the constitution, Electoral Act, 2022, and the guidelines and regulations issued by INEC for the conduct of the election.

“The PDP asserts that it is indeed a sad commentary for our democracy that the Supreme Court failed to uphold the provisions of the law,” the statement reads.

“Instead, it trashed the expectation of the majority of Nigerians who looked up to it as a Temple of Impartiality to deliver substantial justice in the matter having regards to the laws and facts of the case.

“Nigerians are still at a loss as to how the Supreme Court condoned the serious issues of forgery, falsehood and perjury on the altar of technicalities.

“The general gloom, melancholy and sense of despondency across the country upon the delivery of the judgment is an ominous sign of eerie situation which portend grave consequences because of the disappointment embedded in the judgment.

“This judgment by the Supreme Court has evidently shaken the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court as the last hope of the common man.”

The PDP advised Nigerians not to be discouraged or allow the judgment to detract them from the quest for the entrenchment of a credible electoral system.


The Cable

Labour Party (LP) has rejected the judgement of the supreme court affirming the victory of President Bola Tinubu.

In a unanimous decision on Thursday, the seven-member panel of the apex court dismissed the petitions of Peter Obi of the LP and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.

Reacting to the verdict, Julius Abure, LP national chairman, called on the international community to rise and defend democracy in Nigeria.

Abure also described the judgement as “shocking and surprising”.

“The leadership of Labour Party watched as the sacred fabric of justice and good conscience was shredded today at the Supreme Court as it delivered its verdict in the case between our party, the Presidential candidate and the APC Presidential candidate,” the statement reads.

“We are indeed very shocked and surprised that even the apex Court will toe the line of an earlier judgement in spite of all the flaws associated with the judgement delivered by the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal.

“Having conclusively exercised our fundamental rights as gifted to us by the laws of the land, we have no other choice but to move on.

“We may be disappointed and dismayed by the outcome of the exercise, but we have chosen to trudge on and to remain optimistic of what the future holds for the nation.

“However, there are great lessons to be learnt. What transpired in Nigeria since the February 25 presidential election is a clear testament that our institutions are not working and that we may be sliding towards dictatorship.

“It is very clear that the executive has hijacked both the judiciary and the legislature.

“This is so unfortunate for our democracy, and it is even more for the people of Nigeria.

“All what our forbearers taught us has been destroyed within a short space of time because of the Unbridled ambition of a few.

“The founding fathers fought with their lives to achieve independence for the country. People lost their lives for the struggle to keep our democracy and all these years people have been struggling to achieve electoral and constitutional reforms.

“Regrettably, all of these efforts and struggles have been destroyed today.

“We are also calling on the International community to rise to the occasion to defend democracy in Nigeria.

“Your voices were loud and clear in condemnation of the outcome of the presidential election.

“As we approach the next stage of our democratic journey, we call on you to stand by the millions of Nigerians who are already pushed beyond their limits into unnecessary hardship and penury.”

Abure urged Nigerians not to lose hope, adding that a new Nigeria is still possible.


The Cable

An Enugu High Court, presided over by Anthony Onovo, has voided the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.

The Federal Government under Muhammadu Buhari had, in 2017, proscribed the secessionist group, while the leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was clamped into detention.

The court, yesterday, also declared that self-determination was not a crime and should not, therefore, be used as a basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the IPOB leader.

Kanu, through his Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had in January this year, approached the court to seek nullification of the proscription and terrorist tag on the group, based on the fact that it is a registered organisation with membership exercising their right of association.

He had sought de-listing of the organisation as a terrorist group in line with the provisions of the African Charter and the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as well as restraining the government from proceeding with criminal proceedings against Kanu.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Onovo agreed that the African Charter is binding on Nigerian courts.

He declared that in practical application of the Terrorism Prevention Act, the executive or administrative action of the South East Governors Forum (SEGF) and the Federal Government, which directly led to the proscription of IPOB, its listing as a terrorist group and the consequent arrest, detention and prosecution of Kanu is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of his fundamental right.

The judge ordered the Federal Government and South East governors to issue official letter(s) of apology to Kanu for the infringement of his fundamental rights; and publication of the letter(s) in three national dailies.

The court awarded jointly or severally N8 billion to Kanu as monetary damages claimed against the Federal Government and South East governors for the physical, psychological, property and other damages he suffered as a result of the infringements on his fundamental rights.

Ejimakor commended the court as the last hope of the common man.
He stated: “We are grateful that justice has prevailed over this matter since 2017. The court has reaffirmed the hopes of the common man in the judiciary. You have saved thousands of lives.”


The Guardian

Israeli troops briefly raid northern Gaza to 'prepare' for an expected full-scale incursion

Israeli troops and tanks briefly raided northern Gaza overnight, the military said Thursday, engaging with Hamas fighters and targeting anti-tank weapons in order to “prepare the battlefield” before an expected ground invasion.

The third Israeli raid since the war began came after more than two weeks of devastating airstrikes that have left thousands dead, and more than 1 million displaced from their homes, in the small, densely-populated territory.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, launched airstrikes early Friday on two locations in eastern Syria linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Pentagon said, in retaliation for drone and missile attacks against U.S. bases and personnel in the region that began early last week.

Arab leaders made a joint plea Thursday for a cease-fire to end civilian suffering and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, where Israel has imposed a suffocating siege ever since Hamas’ rampage and hostage-taking in southern Israel ignited the war. Residents are running out of food, water and medicine, and U.N. workers have barely any fuel left to support relief missions.

The rising death toll in Gaza is unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Thursday more than 7,000 Palestinians have died in the fighting, a figure that could not be independently verified. Even greater loss of life could come if Israel launches a ground offensive aimed at crushing Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007 and survived four previous wars with Israel.

More than 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians, were slain during the initial Hamas attack, according to the Israeli government.

The damage to Gaza from nearly three weeks of bombardment showed in satellite photos of several locations taken before the war and again in recent days.

Entire rows of residential buildings simply disappear in the photos, reduced to smears of dust and rubble. A complex of 13 high-rises by the sea was pounded to dust near Gaza City’s al-Shati refugee camp, leaving only a few tottering bits of facade. Just down the street, hardly anything remained in what had been a neighborhood of low-built homes on winding lanes, according to the photos by Maxar Technologies.

New strikes Thursday leveled more than eight homes belonging to an extended family, killing at least 15 people in the southern city of Khan Younis. In the chaotic wasteland of crumbled concrete and twisted metal, rescuers lifted the body of a boy from beneath a slab.

The Israeli military said an airstrike killed one of two masterminds of the Oct. 7 massacre, Shadi Barud, the head of Hamas’ intelligence unit. The military says it only strikes militant targets and accuses Hamas of operating among civilians in an attempt to protect its fighters.

Palestinian militants have fired thousands of rockets into Israel since the war began. One struck a residential building in the central city of Petah Tikva, without wounding anyone.

Hamas’ military wing said Thursday that Israeli bombardment has so far killed about 50 of the at least 224 hostages the militants abducted during its Oct. 7 assault. There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials, who have denied previous, similar claims.

Family members and Jewish groups are trying to keep the spotlight on the hostages’ plight. In Paris, 30 empty baby strollers were displayed in front of the Eiffel Tower — each with a photo of one of the children taken from Israel. A day earlier, blindfolded teddy bears with photos of the abducted children were placed in front of a fountain in Tel Aviv.

The conflict has threatened to ignite a wider war across the region.

Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed ally of Hamas in Lebanon, has repeatedly traded fire with Israel along the border. The United States has sent to the region two aircraft carrier strike groups, along with additional fighter jets and other weaponry and personnel.

In a statement Thursday night, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes in eastern Syria were “a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on Oct. 17.”

He said President Joe Biden directed the narrowly tailored strikes “to make clear that the United States will not tolerate such attacks and will defend itself, its personnel and its interests.” He added that the operation was separate and distinct from Israel’s war against Hamas.

Israel has vowed to crush Hamas’ capacity to govern Gaza or threaten Israel again but also says it doesn’t want to reoccupy the territory, from which it withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005. That could prove a daunting challenge, since Hamas is deeply rooted in Gaza, with political and charity organizations as well as a formidable armed wing.

Benny Gantz, a retired general and a member of Israel’s war Cabinet, said any possible ground offensive would be only “one stage in a long-term process that includes security, political and social aspects that will take years.”

“The campaign will soon ramp up with greater force,” he added.

The overnight raid into Gaza was the largest of several known brief incursions. The military said soldiers and tanks killed fighters and destroyed tunnels and anti-tank missile launching positions. The military said no Israelis were wounded. There was no immediate confirmation of any Palestinian casualties.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a military spokesman, said the incursion was “part of our preparations for the next stages of the war.”

Israel also said it also carried out around 250 airstrikes across Gaza in the last 24 hours, targeting tunnel shafts, rocket launchers and other militant infrastructure. Its reported targeting could not be independently verified.

The figure of 7,000 deaths reported by the Gaza Health Ministry is more than three times the number of Palestinians killed in the six-week-long Gaza war in 2014. The ministry’s toll includes more than 2,900 minors and more than 1,500 women.

After Biden said he had “no confidence” in Gaza’s casualty figures, the Health Ministry on Thursday countered by releasing a more than 200-page document listing the names of 6,747 dead, including ages and gender. It said another 281 dead had not been identified and that hundreds still missing under rubble were not included in the count.

The warning by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, over depleting fuel supplies raised alarm that the humanitarian crisis could quickly worsen. Israel is still barring deliveries of fuel — needed to power generators — saying it believes Hamas will take it for military use.

About 1.4 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have fled their homes, with nearly half of them crowding into U.N. shelters. Hundreds of thousands remain in northern Gaza, despite Israel ordering them to evacuate to the south and saying that those who remain might be considered “accomplices” of Hamas.

In recent days, Israel has let more than 70 trucks with aid enter from Egypt.

“This is a small amount of what is required, a drop in the ocean,” said William Schomburg, an official with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza. “We are trying to establish a pipeline.”

Elsewhere, Egyptian state-run media outlet Al Qahera News reported early Friday that an explosion hit the Egyptian resort town of Taba, which is near the border with Israel. Five people were wounded. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear, and The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the details.

Nine Arab countries — including key U.S. allies and nations that have signed peace or normalization deals with Israel — issued a joint statement Thursday calling for an immediate cease-fire and an end to the targeting and death of civilians.

“The right to self defense by the United Nations Charter does not justify blatant violations of humanitarian and international law,“ said the statement, signed by Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Morocco.

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities detained 86 Palestinians, including five women, in multiple raids overnight, bringing the total detained there to more than 1,400, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current prisoners. At least 104 Palestinians have been killed in violence in the West Bank.




Biden trying to rebrand Ukraine aid as job-creation stimulus – Politico

The White House is attempting to spin continued support for Kiev as being beneficial to the US economy, Politico reported on Wednesday, citing sources in Washington. According to the magazine, US officials are concerned that they are “losing the messaging war on Ukraine.”

Politico interviewed unnamed officials and lawmakers, who said that aides from the administration of President Joe Biden have been distributing talking points among Congress members still willing to funnel money to Kiev.

According to Politico, one point states that the administration’s latest request for additional funds from Congress will not only support the US military-industrial complex, but will also result in “expanding production lines, strengthening the American economy and creating new American jobs.” 

Last Friday, the Biden administration asked Congress for a new spending package totaling $105 billion, intended to cover the security needs of Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as address the tense situation on America’s southern border. The request came after the White House dropped Ukraine aid from a funding bill to avoid a government shutdown earlier this month.

Washington’s attempts to secure more funding for Kiev have been criticized by numerous Republicans, who have accused the White House of a lack of strategic vision and accountability.

In the early days of the Ukraine conflict, the White House argued that the hostilities were to blame for a range of economic woes facing ordinary Americans, including rising fuel prices and inflation.

However, some Republicans dismissed this rhetoric, with an unnamed GOP official suggesting in an interview with Politico that the administration “realized that their messaging on Ukraine specifically has been a disaster… and that they needed to change.” 

Last week, Biden compared the Ukraine conflict to World War II, arguing that “patriotic American workers are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom.” 

The apparent shift in messaging comes after a Reuters/Ipsos poll earlier this month found that 41% of US citizens agreed that Washington “should provide weapons to Ukraine,” while 35% disagreed. In a similar poll in May, 46% of Americans backed sending arms to Kiev, with 29% opposed to this policy.



U.S. ambassador says Ukraine pilots training on F16s

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said on Thursday that Ukrainian pilots were undergoing training in the United States on F-16 fighter aircraft, a key element on Kyiv's wish list to secure the weaponry it needs in its war against Russia.

The U.S. approved sending F-16s fighter jets to Ukraine from the Netherlands and Denmark in August once pilot training is completed.

"Ukrainian pilots are now training with the Arizona Air National Guard on F-16s," Ambassador Bridget Brink said on X, formerly Twitter.

"This is an essential part of building Ukraine's air defense. The United States is proud to work w/ European partners to support Ukraine against Russia’s brutal aggression."

Ukraine launched a counteroffensive in the 20-month-old war last June and has retaken a number of villages in the eastern and southern theatres, but at a much slower pace than a rapid advance through occupied northeastern Ukraine a year ago.

The country is still subject to missile and drone attacks striking infrastructure, including its power generating network, as well as other targets.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pledged to build an "F-16 coalition" and the Netherlands and Denmark have been among those taking the lead in offering to provide the fighters. Ukraine's air force is made up mostly of Soviet-era aircraft.



Ahmad Gumi, 60, is a medical doctor and retired army captain. But he has not had a job after retirement 37 years ago. His day job since has been bandits’ advocacy. He has become so used to getting away with saying what he likes when he likes and how he likes it, he hardly knows when he needs help to extract his foot from his mouth. 

He could use such help. Not only for his own good, but perhaps for the good of those taking him seriously as well.

In a rambling no-holds-barred sermon last week, Gumi lashed out at the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, for planning to make Abuja “an extension of Tel Aviv,” where anyone with a long beard would be treated like Osama bin Laden and murdered. He criticised Muslims for supporting a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the last election, forgetting that others, including Christians, also voted for that ticket.

“Satan” at work

His most deadly venom, however, was not for Wike. It was for Tinubu, the enabler of the “Satan” called Wike, and the hundreds of smaller Southern devils of all faiths roaming the woods of the country in a murderous rampage since 1966 but who have resurged with Tinubu’s election, holding the trigger. Their poor, dispossessed Northern compatriots are left to occupy empty shells as offices. This translation is a mild version of what Gumi said.

He spoke for himself and not for millions of Muslims across the country who recognise that after an election whoever emerges president has an obligation not just to one religious group but to all citizens, whether they are believers or agnostics. 

He spoke for himself and not for exceptional clerics and Muslim leaders like the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar who have spent their lives building bridges across faiths. Gumi spoke for himself, and certainly not for voters in Abuja who, for the first time ever, elected a non-indigenous woman, Ireti Kingibe, and member of the Labour Party, instead of traditional candidates of the two dominant parties, to represent them in the Senate. Gumi was speaking for himself.

Life in Abuja

Of course, he has a fanbase – a remnant of die-hards who follow him in the mistaken notion that he would not inherit some of the incendiary rhetoric of his father, Abubakar Gumi. Perhaps there are also a few closet admirers among temporarily displaced politicians who are happy with his bitter words. But what is Gumi complaining about, really?

That Wike is suspectedly talking to the Israelis for Abuja’s security? It doesn’t matter to me. And Gumi may not understand why. Living in Abuja, as Chinua Achebe once said about Lagos, has become like living at the warfront. 

But Gumi will not understand since he goes about with police escorts, which is strange because you would expect that the exploits from his bandits’ advocacy should have set him free from all security concerns by now. 

Unfortunately, life in Abuja, especially in recent times, has been dangerous with frequent reports of deadly attacks on commuters by so-called “one-chance” drivers. If talking to Mossad or Hamas or Hezbollah will keep Abuja safe, it really doesn’t matter to me. And Gumi, a retired army captain, ought to know better.

Red herring

The US, “a country of infidels”, has some of the largest military bases in the world in Muslim countries in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, where Gumi earned his PhD in Islamic jurisprudence, has five of such bases apart from a military defence pact with America. The UAE hosts 5,000 US military personnel at the Al Dhafra Air Base, just outside Abu Dhabi. President Donald Trump had planned to double it.

Wike talking with Mossad – which I suspect was just a Gumi red herring – does not make Abuja any more vulnerable than did military president General Ibrahim Babangida awarding Julius Berger, a German firm, the contract to build Aso Rock, where the Nigerian president resides.

But of course, that was not Gumi’s main grouse. He is offended by the “otherness” of Wike’s appointment. How can someone who is not like him, an intruder if you like, be appointed minister of the Federal Capital Territory? 

There are many things for which you can criticise Wike, not least of which is his politics, sometimes. His decisions to shuffle the FCT administration, demand overdue ground rent, and revoke hundreds of plots of undeveloped land that have in many cases become speculators’ lottery, have ruffled feathers. Yet, they can hardly be described as self-serving. 

To be fair, Gumi did not mention any of these complaints in his sermon. Even if he did, it would have been perfectly within his right to do so because public officers must be held to account. But that was not the point of his displeasure; it was not about requesting accountability, offering suggestions about a better way, if he thought there was one, or challenging the competence of the minister. 

Whose sacred ground?

His attack came from a much deeper place: resentment that Tinubu who emerged president by the grace of the North had the effrontery to bring an “intruder” into a “sacred ground,” without the approval of the Landlord. This brazen sense of entitlement dressed up as a “religious wrong,” offends decency. It’s unacceptable.

Abuja does not need to be saved from Wike. It is against people like Gumi that the capital and the country must now defend itself. The original builders of this place did not conceive of it as the Boys Quarters of one tribe, religion or ethnic group. It was precisely because of this sort of complication which Lagos presented, apart from it becoming a concrete jungle, that Abuja was conceived of as the new frontier of national unity. 

The original majority Gwari indigenes have complained, perhaps justifiably, of being marginalised; agitators from the creeks of the Niger Delta have complained, perhaps justifiably, that Abuja was built off the back of oil wealth from that polluted and forsaken region. 

What injury has Wike’s appointment caused Gumi? In Joseph Ona & another V. Diga Romani Atenda (2000), 5 NWLR (Pt. 656) 244, the Court of Appeal put to rest any special claim to Abuja by anyone or group. Abuja has no special status and therefore cannot be claimed as anyone’s special ground.

Changing demographics

If Gumi was looking, he would have seen, from the results of the last general elections that the city’s demographics, especially in the municipal areas, are changing. For the first time in its 47-year history as federal capital, neither the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of which he is an undisguised sympathiser; nor the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), had the majority. Appointments must reflect competence and the changing demographics. 

In spite of Gumi, it’s a small step forward for unity and diversity that an APC president appointed a PDP minister in a federal capital where a woman and a non-indigene, represents Abuja in the Senate.

Gumi was right about one thing, though. That he didn’t particularly see eye-to-eye with former President Muhammadu Buhari. But it’s surprising that for eight years he didn’t see anything wrong with Abuja under former FCT minister Mohammed Bello. 

A man full of religious fervour, Bello was well on his way to pre-eminence in mullah-hood when Buhari diverted him with a ministerial appointment, which became his undoing. He lost his way and his catastrophic tenure has been largely responsible for Abuja’s current mess. 

Bello’s failure had nothing to do with religion or the fact that all seven ministers of the city in the last 24 years have all been Muslims. After all, Nasir El-Rufai, one of the two exceptional ministers in nearly 50 years, is a Muslim. 

Gumi’s followers won’t hear him say that. But the next time they listen to his hate sermon, they should ask him what matters more to him: result or religion? His extremism shames decency. He should find a job.

** Ishiekwene is Editor-In-Chief of LEADERSHIP 

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Thursday, 26 October 2023 11:46

Supreme Court upholds Tinubu's election win

Nigeria's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Bola Tinubu's election win, bringing to an end a legal challenge brought by his two main rivals, who argued that his victory was marred by irregularities.

The ruling will give the 71-year-old Tinubu a clear mandate to govern Africa's most populous nation, which is grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a weakening naira, widespread insecurity and crude oil theft.

Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after three decades of almost uninterrupted military rule, but accusations of ballot-rigging and fraud have followed its electoral cycles.

The judgment by seven Supreme Court judges, which is final, follows a pattern seen in previous presidential elections that have been challenged in court. None of the attempts to overturn results through the courts has been successful.

Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party came second and third respectively in the February vote, but rejected the result and called for Tinubu's win to be annulled.

The two opposition leaders had appealed a Sept. 6 tribunal judgment that endorsed Tinubu's victory.

In the appeal, they argued that the electoral commission failed to electronically transmit results from polling stations to an online portal, which undermined their authenticity.

They also said Tinubu had won less than 25% of the vote in the federal capital Abuja so he did not meet the legal threshold to become president.

The judges dismissed all their arguments.

"There is no merit in this appeal, and it is hereby dismissed," said Supreme Court Justice, John Okoro.

The court also rejected Atiku's bid to introduce new evidence that alleged Tinubu had submitted a forged university certificate to the electoral agency. Tinubu had denied this.



The Supreme Court has slated Thursday (today) for judgement on the appeals filed by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party, Peter Obi.

The judgement will lay to rest the legal disputes over the 25 February presidential election.

Atiku and Obi had appealed against the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) which dismissed their petitions challenging the outcome of the 25 February presidential election and affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu.

Director of Information of the Supreme Court, Festus Akande, confirmed the information to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

Supreme Court had on Monday, reserved judgement after hearing the appeals.



Nigeria is ranked 120th of the 142 countries in terms of adherence to rule of law, according to the latest global Rule of Law Index released by the World Justice Project (WJP).

The 2023 index released on Wednesday in Washington DC, United States, also showed that out of the 34 countries ranked in the sub-Saharan region, Nigeria is rated 23rd.

According to the WJP report, countries were judged on eight indicators, namely constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.

While the report noted that Nigeria’s score increased, however, it slipped by two points from the 2022 index where it was ranked 118th out of the 140 countries ranked globally that year.

“This is the sixth consecutive Index marking global declines in the rule of law. This year alone, the rule of law declined in 59 per cent of countries surveyed. However, Nigeria is among the minority of countries to see its Rule of Law Index score increase this year,” the report stated.

Globally, the top-ranked country in the 2023 WJP Rule of Law Index is Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

The country with the lowest score is Venezuela, trailed by Cambodia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Nigeria’s performance across indicators

In terms of constraints on government powers, Nigeria was ranked 85th out of 142 countries globally and ranked 14th out of 34 countries in the region. The performance in this indicator was the best performance for Nigeria in any of the indicators.

However, WJP stated that 74 per cent of the countries failed in the area of constraint on government, specifically in terms of the ability of some institutions to check the excess of the executive.

“Over the past seven years, index scores for constraints on government powers have fallen in 74% of countries—including Nigeria. Around the world, legislatures, judiciaries, and civil society—including the media—have all lost ground on checking executive power.

“These and other authoritarian trends continued in 2023, but they are slowing, with fewer countries declining in 2022 and 2023 than in earlier years. Constraints on Government Powers fell in 56 per cent of countries, compared to 58 per cent in 2022 and 70 per cent in 2021. Likewise, a smaller majority of countries saw overall rule of law declines in this year (59 per cent) as compared to the last two (61 per cent and 74 per cent),” WJP stated.

Co-founder and President of WJP, William Neukom, explained that “the world remains gripped by a rule of law recession characterised by executive overreach, curtailing of human rights, and justice systems that are failing to meet people’s needs.”

In terms of absence of corruption, Nigeria ranked 121st out of 142 countries globally, and 23rd out of 34 countries regionally. In the open government category, the country is ranked 104th out of 142 globally and 14th out of 34 in the regional ranking.

Similarly, in order and security, Nigeria is the second worst country in the sub-Saharan region as it is ranked 33rd out of 34 countries. Globally, it is ranked 139 out of 142. In terms of fundamental rights, Nigeria has a global ranking of 116th out of 142 and a regional ranking of 23rd out of 34.

For regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice, Nigeria is ranked 119th, 100th and 86th respectively out of the 142 countries rated.

Regional ranking

In the sub-Saharan region, WJP ranked the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The region’s top performer is Rwanda (ranked 41st out of 142 globally), followed by Namibia and Mauritius. The three countries with the lowest scores in the region are Mauritania, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (138th globally).

WJP stated that since 2016, the rule of law has fallen in 78 per cent of countries studied. The rule of law factor to decline most between 2016 and 2023 is fundamental rights—down in 77 per cent of countries, including Nigeria.


WJP is an independent, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary organisation working to create knowledge, build awareness, and stimulate action to advance the rule of law worldwide.

To compile the list, WJP says it relies on more than 149,000 household surveys and 3,400 legal practitioner and expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide.

WJP defines the rule of law as a durable system of laws, institutions, norms, and community commitment that delivers: accountability, just laws, open government, and accessible justice.

The report is published annually and subjected to a rigorous methodology. The Index is used by governments, multilateral organisations, businesses, academia, media, and civil society organisations around the world to assess and address gaps in the rule of law.



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