*AU SUMMIT: President Goodluck Jonathan (left) and President Omar Albashir of Sudan at the opening of African Union, AU, Heads of State and Governments’ special summit on Hiv/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Nigeria, yesterday. STATE HOUSE PHOTO.
Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, has told the International Criminal Court, ICC, that the Federal Government was already making plans to hand over Sudan’s leader, Omar Al-Bashir, during his controversial visit to the country in July to attend an African Union summit, before he abruptly cut short his visit and left the country.
In a letter to the registrar of ICC, Herman von Hebe, sighted by an online publication, the AGF explained that Mr. Al-Bashir left the country “at the time officials of relevant bodies and agencies of the Federal Government were already considering the necessary steps to be taken in respect of his visit in line with Nigeria’s international obligations.”
Adoke said Nigeria did not invite the Sudanese President, who is wanted by ICC on charges of genocide in Darfur, adding that Al-Bashir was in Nigeria to “ostensibly attend” a two-day African Union, AU, Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
He said Al-Bashir, in line with AU tradition, does not need an invitation from to attend the AU summit.
However, Federal Government had given the Sudanese President a red carpet welcome with a full guard of honour, while the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, was at the airport to receive him.
In the heat of controversy that followed Nigeria’s refusal to carry out ICC arrest warrant against Al-Bashir, Federal Government, however, said it shunned the arrest warrant on Al-Bashir because of its commitment to AU position on the issue.