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Of the People but for the People? Nigeria and Its Armed Forces

  • J. N. C. Hill
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Abstract

On 7 February 2011 Nigeria’s Supreme Court overturned former Rear Admiral Francis Agbiti’s conviction for negligence and disobedience. The five judges unanimously declared his sentence unsafe on the grounds that his original trial had not been fair. In summing up on the court’s behalf, Justice Olufunlola Adekeye paid particular attention to Agbiti’s opening argument that the members of the panel that tried him were either unqualified to do so, known to be prejudiced against him before the trial started, or acted inappropriately during its course. Two of its members, Major General Akpa and Air-Vice Marshal Odesola, were too junior to have sat upon it. Its president, Rear Admiral Ajayi, was known to have disliked Agbiti from old while its other senior member, Rear Admiral Oni, sponsored the publication of an article critical of Agbiti while the trial was still taking place.1

Keywords

Armed Force Niger Delta Territorial Integrity Insurgent Group Commanding Officer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 10.
    Domestic opposition and international criticism of Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Nigeria, have grown steadily, albeit unevenly, over the past 20 years. Much of the opprobrium levelled at the company has been stimulated and generated by one man — Ken Saro Wiwa. In 1992 he founded the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People to pressure Shell and the Federal Government into compensating the Ogoni people for the grinding poverty and wretched environmental conditions they were forced to endure. MOSOP launched a highly effective two-pronged strategy to press its case. At home, its activists took part in mass demonstrations and sabotaged pipes and equipment belonging to Shell and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Overseas, Saro-Wiwa embarked on a relentless public relations campaign to highlight the plight of the Ogoni and other Niger Delta peoples. So successful was he that the Abacha regime had him arrested and executed on trumped up murder charges. Yet, even in death, Saro-Wiwa was still able to embarrass Shell as the company was heavily criticised for not doing more to save his life. Misty L. Bastin, ‘“Buried beneath Six Feet of Crude Oil”: State-Sponsored Death and the Absent Body of Ken Saro-Wiwa’, in Craig W. McLuckie and Aubrey McPhail (eds.), Ken Saro-Wiwa: Writer and Political Activist (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000), p. 133.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© J.N.C. Hill 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. C. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonUK

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