Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been precluded from challenging for the office of the Director General of the World Trade Organization by the African Union.
The disqualification is coming after President Buhari pulled back the assignment of Fedrick Agah and supplanted him with Okonjo-Iweala.
The office of the lawful counsel at the African Union had said that Iweala’s assignment was against set down guidelines as the official gathering of the association in its 35th common meeting that was held in Niamey, Niger, requested that member nations present candidates to the AU ministerial board on candidature by November 30, 2019, to permit it support an accord up-and-comer at its February 2020 standard meeting.
In the letter dated June 15 and routed to the permanent mission of the Republic of Nigeria to the African Union in Addis Ababa with Reference Number: BC/OLC/24/5056.20, the direction said the assignment of Okonjo-Iweala damages Rule (11), 1, 2 and 3, Rule 12 and Rule 15(3) of the guidelines of strategy of the board of trustees on candidatures inside the International System of the AU just as Council’s Decisions Ex CI 1072 (XXXV), Ec CI Dec 1090 (XXXVI) and Assembly Dec 795 (XXXIII).
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It halfway read;
“During the February 2020 summit, the three candidates were considered.
“However, due to the lack of consensus to agree on one suitable candidate during the February 2020 summit, the executive council through decision Ex Cl 1090 (XXXVI) recalled the Ex Cl Dec 10T2 (XXXV) and endorsed respectively the candidates from Benin, Egypt and Nigeria as shortlisted for the post of the director-general of the WTO (the names of the candidates were incorporated in the report of the committee on international candidatures presented to the executive council).
“Moreover, it requested the ministerial committee on African candidatures within the international system to consider the matter and report to the executive council’s 3rd ordinary session with a view to agreeing on a single candidate.”
Premium Times revealed that a few conditions for designation of candidates were recorded as in this manner;
“All candidatures shall be submitted to the committee, through the AU commission (the political affairs department). The political affairs department should acknowledge receipt containing the date and the stamp of submission.
“Candidatures shall be submitted to the commission at least two (2) months prior to the sessions of the executive council, which shall consider them. The submission shall be accompanied by relevant information related to the submitted candidatures, including the nature of each post, date and place of elections.
“The condition on which candidate submission may be accepted after the deadline is when no other candidatures for the position have been submitted in the prescribed time; the submission of candidatures has been closed; and there are more vacancies reserved for Africa than the submissions received, among others”.
The insight included that the Executive Council had embraced the selections of Fedrick Agah, Eloi Laourou and Abdulhameed Mamdouh before Nigeria tried to substitute its nomination. It was further learnt Okonjo-Iweala didn’t fulfill the submission time constraint and there are no more opening into which Nigeria can make nomination.
The announcement included;
“It is a recognised principle of international law that a sovereign state has the right to substitute and replace a nomination of its citizens as it may wish for a position.
“However, the sovereign right does not endow that state any right to change existing rules, relevant decisions of the Executive Council and decisions of the ther policy organs of the union. A decision of the Executive Council should only be changed by another decision of the council not by any member state and a decision of the Assembly should be changed by a decision of the Assembly not by a member state.”