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The United States said yesterday that it was “deeply disappointed” over the pardon granted former governor of Bayelsa State Diepreye Alamieyesaigha who was impeached and later convicted of corruption in Nigeria.
In messages Friday on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, through its handle @USEmbassyAbuja, said “The #USG is deeply disappointed over the recent pardons of corrupt officials by the GON. #Nigeria.” It was followed by another which states: “We see this as a setback in the fight against corruption. #Nigeria”
The pardon to Alamieyeseigha, who is a political confidant of President Goodluck Jonathan, has continued to attract wide condemnation. Jonathan once served as Alamieyeseigha’s deputy. His impeachment marked the start of Jonathan’s rise in Nigerian politics.
Embassy spokeswoman Deb MacLean told the Associated Press yesterday that officials had no further immediate comment.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s foreign ministry has summoned a top U.S. diplomat to explain why its embassy posted critical comments on Twitter over a presidential pardon given to a former governor convicted on corruption charges.
A statement issued yesterday night said Nigerian officials filed an urgent request to speak to the U.S. deputy chief of mission over what it described as “meddlesomeness.”