The Hague, April 4, 2012 (FH) - Defence lawyers of Darfur rebels leaders Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo filed a motion on April 2 requesting the disqualification of Nigerian Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji. They claim that “his impartiality might reasonably be doubted” in that case.

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Chile Eboe-Osuji was elected as one of the six judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in December 2011, with the support of Nigeria and the African Union. On March 16, he was assigned to the Banda/Jerbo case.

Former commander of the Justice and Equality Movement Banda, and former Chief of Staff of SLA-Unity Jerbo are accused of crimes against humanity for a 2007 attack on Haskanita military base, in which twelve international peacekeepers died, including nine Nigerians.

In their request, defence lawyers Karim Khan and Nick Koumjian list four reasons to question Chile Eboe-Osuji's impartiality : the accused fought Nigerian troops, most of the victims in the case are Nigerians, the judge’s candidacy was endorsed by Nigeria, and the judge posted a biased comment on his own blog.


States should be «in the expectation that the justice administered would be unbiased and that they would not be abandoning their own soldiers to justice administered by nationals of the very country they had fought against”, the lawyers wrote.  


Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo appeared voluntarily before the ICC in June 2010.


No date has yet been set for their trial.