By Olayinka Ajayi
A former Director General of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa has berated the Federal Government over its slow pace of reacting to sensitive issue affecting the country especially on the international scene.
Akinterinwa, who was reacting to the demolition of Nigeria’s High Commission in Accra, Ghana, maintained that if Nigeria had responded swiftly, it could have saved the high commission building.
“ Nigeria cannot be said to have handled the matter well. The issue is that the demolition is not a crime under international laws. Even though the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was calling for sanctions and the Foreign Affairs Minister also described the action as criminal; I do not share the view that the demolition constituted a crime.
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“It is more or less a delict. There is the need to differentiate the two: international crime and international delict. Under international laws, what would constitute a crime is something like an aggression of colonial domination, polluting the atmosphere with slavery, genocide.
“When a whole people suffer things like these, that is when we talk about how the international principle to protect was given birth to. Anything outside of the above category is what we can call ‘international delict’.
“But the demolition violates an international obligation to which Ghana subscribed and that is the International Convention on Diplomatic Relations. It is made clear under Article 21 and Article 22 of the Geneva Convention the status of a residential diplomatic building.”