Abeokuta – The former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Dr Emeka Anyaoku, on Friday, absolved Nigeria from fault over its refusal to arrest the Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir was to attend an African Union (AU) summit in the country.
Anyaoku, spoke in Abeokuta at the burial of Mrs Taiwo Abati, the late mother of Dr Reuben Abati, the Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on media and publicity.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) had issued a warrant of arrest on Al-Bashir on alleged charges of genocide in Darfur.
The Sudanese president was, however, in Nigeria recently to attend an AU summit on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
The development had generated local and international reactions with Human Rights Watch criticising Nigeria for not handing over Al-Bashir to the ICC.
Anyaoku, however, argued that it was unrealistic for Nigeria to have handed over the Sudanese president to the ICC.
He further argued that Nigeria only acted in line with the position of the AU, which had earlier rejected the warrant and accusing the ICC of targeting only African offenders.
“The idea of Nigeria handing the Sudanese president over to the AC or the ICC was unrealistic.
“He was not Nigeria’ guest but the AU’s guest and Nigeria was only a host to the AU.
“There is no room for AU or any international body to sanction Nigeria because there is no procedure preventing member-state on an issue like that.
“Nigeria was hosting AU summit, there is no way that Nigeria should have said a member of the AU should not attend the summit.