The President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration stated that it was not willing to extradite the former Bayelsa State governor because the British government did not go through ‘appropriate channels.’
A highly-placed government official who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said, “The UK cannot dictate to us. The government is not willing to extradite the former governor because of what they (UK) are saying on the pages of newspapers.”
A government spokesperson, who pleaded anonymity, said the extradition request of the UK government could not be granted because it was an old one which predates the present administration.
“The request is an old one. It was not made under this administration, you can check the date. The request predates this administration” he said.
“I am sure the request must have been made in 2005/2006 when the events happened. That surely was before the inception of this administration.”
Reacting to a statement by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Pocock that “the former governor skipped bail in the UK on a charge of money laundering and returned to Nigeria; so, he has an outstanding charge in the UK which is there for him to answer”, the source stated, “in any case, it is inappropriate for the envoy to be addressing issues such as this on the pages of newspapers. There are established diplomatic channels to address such issues because diplomacy has its own rules.
“What is expected of a foreign diplomat in another country is to go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if he has such an observation to make.
“A diplomat is not expected to behave in a manner suggesting that he is interfering in the internal affairs of his host country. Diplomacy on the pages of newspapers is odd, it is almost like joining a protest movement.
“He is expected to go through the proper diplomatic channels. Reacting on the pages of newspapers amount to challenging the sovereignty of the country and meddlesomeness in the affairs of the country.
“The action also amounts to carrying placards and joining protest against the host country.”