At the beginning of 2015, then U.S. President Barack Obama invoked the Leahy Laws against Nigeria by allocating a mere $700,000 and blocked the sale of Cobra helicopters to the West African country.
It occurred at a time Nigeria was in the thick of a war against insurgents in the northeast and needed all the foreign support and military hardware it could get.
However, the Obama administration thought otherwise because of what it termed gross human rights violations by the Nigerian military in the war against Boko Haram.
It took the Republican administration led by President Donald Trump to lift the embargo on military assistance with the sale of 12 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.
Now, with President Joe Biden, another Democrat, at the helm of affairs in the U.S., the spectre of another unequal application of the Arms Export Control Act, otherwise known as the Leahy Amendments, again looms over Nigeria.
The Leahy Laws or Leahy Amendments are human rights laws that prohibit the U.S. Departments of State and Defence from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights with impunity.
Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, former Foreign Affairs Minister and former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, discusses the recent threat by U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to apply the Leahy Laws against Nigeria if allegations of rights violations are found to be credible