President Buhari: In The Footpath Of Charles Taylor

President Muhammadu Buhari, on his second day in Lagos, was joined on a tour of the affluent Eko Atlantic City by British model, actor and singer, Naomi Campbell, who claimed she was invited by the President, despite denials by the presidency.

Naomi Campbell and President Buhari saw the Eko Atlantic City together before the president left for Abuja, in a similar fashion the celebrity saw Charles Taylor before later testifying against the warlord at The ICC.

Naomi Campbell had met with Charles Taylor, shook his hands like she did that of Buhari, took pictures with him in the same manner she did with Buhari, and was given gifts of “Diamonds.” It is however not clear what gifts Muhammadu Buhari gave the British model or what informed the decision to have her at such a function.

Evidence surrounding the “dirty stones” allegedly given to the British supermodel Naomi Campbell by Charles Taylor was critical to linking the former Liberian warlord and president to crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone.

Taylor, 64, was accused by the United Nations prosecutors of trading in “blood diamonds” to fund a brutal and bloody war carried out by rebels in Liberia’s neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Critical to their case was evidence that his staff gave Naomi Campbell a bag of gemstones as a present after they met at a star studded gala banquet hosted by Nelson Mandela, then South Africa’s President, in 1997.

Appearing as a witness in August 2010, Miss Campbell said that she had been given three “small, dirty-looking stones” by some mysterious visitors while staying in a government chalet as a guest of the South African President.

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently being considered for indictment for crimes against humanity in the case of the extra judicial murder of over a thousand members of the Islamic Movement in Zaria in December, 2015 and hurriedly burying them in mass graves.

The ICC had recently announced that it had completed preliminary investigation into the case and is seeking further clarification from the Buhari government before considering indictment.

The Buhari government has however continued to blatantly kill and maim members of the Islamic Movement while at the same time contemptuously detain the leader of the Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, against valid court judgements and without charges for over two years in spite of his deteriorating health condition in detention.

What role will this supermodel play in the case remains to be seen. Or perhaps it is just fate playing back, with Muhammadu Buhari on the footpath of Charles Taylor.

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