Nigeria Suspends Foreign Ministry's Perm Sec Over Unauthorised Recall Of Envoy From South Africa


SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended from office the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, over the unauthorized recall of Nigeria's two top diplomats in South Africa following the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and foreigners in that country.

Nigeria, Monday denied that the officials were recalled explaining that they were invited to Abuja for a routine exercise to be debriefed on developments following the xenophobic attacks.

A Presidency source told THEWILL Tuesday that the President suspended Sheni following his unauthorized recall of the Acting High Commissioner and his Deputy from Pretoria, and the embarrassing diplomatic standoff it has caused the two powerful African nations.

“The Permanent Secretary was suspended from office and asked why further disciplinary action should not be taken against him for the gaff,” the source who asked not to be named told THEWILL.

THEWILL recalls that the Permanent Secretary was also at the center of an embarrassing phone call row between the Nigerian and Moroccan governments when his office erroneously claimed that President Jonathan had a phone conversation with the King of Morocco. The Moroccans issued a counter statement denying that both leaders have ever spoken, a claim, which was later, corroborated by President Jonathan.