Nigeria summons US official over tweets on pardon

Friday - 3/15/2013, 4:39pm EDT

By JON GAMBRELL
Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - 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 Friday night said Nigerian officials filed an urgent request to speak to the U.S. deputy chief of mission over what it described as "meddlesomeness."

In messages Friday on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said it was "deeply disappointed" over the pardon issued this week to former Bayelsa state Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached and later convicted in Nigeria. Investigators said he likely stole millions of dollars while in office.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan once served as Alamieyeseigha's deputy and pardoned him. His impeachment marked the start of Jonathan's rise in Nigerian politics.


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