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The outgoing Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor, is dead.

His death was confirmed in a statement which was issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, through a series of tweet posts on his official Twitter handle on Friday, December 11, 2020.

According to media reports, the 85-year-old diplomat was said to have died on Thursday night in a hospital in Maryland in the US.

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What the Presidential media aide is saying

Garba Shehu, in his statement, said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed heartfelt commiserations with the family, friends, and associates of Nigeria’s outgoing Ambassador to the United States, Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor over his demise.

“In a telephone call to Jane, the widow of the retired justice in New York on Friday, the President described Ambassador Nsofor as an outstanding judge of rare courage and truth who is not afraid to give justice to whom justice is due.

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“Apparently referring to the 2003 presidential election during which Justice Nsofor delivered a minority judgment as a member of the Election Appeal Panel in favour of Buhari as the candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the President said the country would miss people with such exemplary pedigree.

“President Buhari, who has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with Justice Nsofor’s family on the burial arrangements, prayed God to comfort all who mourn the departed jurist and grant his soul eternal rest.”

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What you should know

  • Justice Nsofor, who died towards the end of his tenure as the ambassador to the United States, served as a justice of the Court of Appeal for 13 years until his mandatory retirement in 2005.
  • He gave the dissenting judgement in favour of President Buhari who had challenged the election of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who won his re-election as a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003.
  • President Buhari nominated Nsofor to the Senate for confirmation as Nigeria’s ambassador to the US, years after the ruling.
  • However, the Federal lawmakers rejected his nomination, due to concerns over his age and fitness. He was later renominated by President Buhari at the end of March 2017 and was confirmed as an ambassador on June 7 of the same year.
  • Nsofor, who assumed office as the ambassador to the US on November 13, 2017, succeeded Professor Adebowale Adefuye who also died towards the end of his tenure.

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