Nigeria's Supreme Court is the vanguard of an emerging rule of law. Recent decisions constituted rebukes to former President Olusegun Obasanjo over ousting Vice President Atiku Abubakar from office and excluding him from the latest presidential balloting. The court has also aggressively asserted jurisdiction over high stakes electoral disputes a la Bush v. Gore (2000) in the United States. Equally important, Nigeria's new President Umaru Yar'Adua has enforced the Supreme Court's decrees with alacrity and celebrated the rule of law in his speeches and actions. In contrast, his predecessor maneuvered to circumvent or cripple adverse judicial rulings.
Rep. William J. Jefferson, Louisiana Democrat, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of bribery and corruption in his promotion of telecommunications equipment and services in Africa.