BREAKING: Nigeria Ambassador to US, Sylvanus Nsofor dies at 85

Sylvanus Nsofor, Nigeria’s ambassador to the US, is dead.

The 85-year-old diplomat passed away on Thursday at a hospital in Maryland in the US.

A native of Imo state, Nsofor’s appointment in 2017 sparked off controversy owing to his age.

The senate rejected his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari, hinging its decision on the recommendation of the foreign affairs committee.

Monsurat ‎Sunmonu, chairperson of the committee, had also said ‎Nsofor did not perform well at the screening exercise.

Nsofor, a retired judge, failed to recite the national anthem when he appeared before the lawmakers.

In July, Buhari renewed the appointments of 12 non-career ambassadors. But he did not renew those of Nsofor and George Oguntade, Nigeria’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom.

In a statement on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari described the late Nsofor as an ”outstanding judge of rare courage”.

”President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed heartfelt commiserations with the family, friends and associates of Nigeria’s Out-going Ambassador to the United States, Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor over his demise,” the statement issued by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said.

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

”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 Gen. Buhari as candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the President said the country will 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.”

Nsofor was born on March 17, 1935. He was appointed a judge in 1977 and he spent 28 years in his legal career. He also taught law at the Holborn College of Law in London‎.


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