DIPLOMATIC FAUX PAS.
By Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
August 20th, 2009
Diplomatic practice has established
universally acceptable principles embedded in Diplomatic
Law. From my observation, US-NIGERIAN diplomatic
practice, in recent years, has not been based on the
long-established rules of diplomatic Law.
I do not speak for the Federal Government of Nigeria on
foreign policy or any policy for that matter. I am a
humble citizen, who paid his taxes and pension
contributions regularly, but has not been paid his
gratuity, three years and two months after retirement,
but whose patriotism is so irrepressible that I do not
suffer the non-chalant attitude of lazy officials
From the ashes of my discontent with non-payment of my
financial entitlements after 27 years of teaching at the
Obafemi Awolowo University, I was rescued by the Max
Planck Institute for International Law and Comparative
Law, Heidelberg,( 2004-2005), Germany and Shandong
University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China,
where I served as Professor of International Law,
(2005-2008). Savings from my sweat in those institutions
have kept me going.
I have visited PENCOM, AGF, NUC, many times, without any
luck or any convincing explanation as to why I should
starve. There is a demoralizing aspect in that no
University Lectureship aspirant would be too
enthusiastic after learning that you cannot receive your
financial entitlements three years, two months after
retirement! OH! HAD I KNOWN!
In order to act in a civil manner, and as a democrat, I
swore to an Affidavit, in which, I Solemnly, reverently,
judiciously and not maliciously, deposed that my
patience was running out and that as Professor of Law,
that I know how to defend my rights and cannot be
cheated by institutions and corporate bodies that can
detain my hard-earned funds by delaying tactics.
In order to let all the institutions responsible for the
non-payment of my gratuities to be put on strict NOTICE,
I also copied the PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC and
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA, to
As a result of my weighty arguments, I am confident that
the President will act AD MISERICORDIAM and order the
payment of my entitlements of twenty-seven years
meritorious service to the ACADEMIA in Nigeria.
Yes, as I was saying, Nigerian -US diplomatic practice
needs an appraisal and a turn-around. During the visit
of George W. Bush, during the reign of Olusegun Obasanjo,
the later was literally shoved off the stage, when
George Bush entered the hall!
George Bush hurriedly delivered his speech and was
driven straight to the Abuja airport and his plane
taxied and took off into the Abuja blue skies. His visit
was marred by a diplomatic row between Nigerian and US
The recent visit by US Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary
Clinton to Nigeria was not-so-hilarious because again,
there was a diplomatic faux pas on both sides.
Diplomatic relations thrive on the acceptance of
generally acknowledged rule of jus cogens, comitias
gentium, mutuality, equality and especially reciprocity.
This is not the place to recount the various articles of
the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Practice of 1961.
There are diplomatic practices which existed before the
American Revolution and Nigerian independence in 1960.
In diplomatic practice, there is a Code for Ambassadors,
which defines the ranks of Diplomatic agents. The
Foreign Minister is the Chief diplomat, so to speak.
If the Foreign Minister of the small island of Mauritius
visits the “Giant of Africa,” the giant Foreign Minister
of Nigeria MUST go and receive the small island of
Mauritius Foreign Minister, at the airport or sea-port
himself. That is diplomatic etiquette.
This operates under the Roman maxim,” Par in parem non
habet imperium.”This means that among equal entities
none has imperial powers.
In international law, all sovereign states are deemed to
be equal and independent.
Some diplomatic observers informed me that when the
Nigerian Foreign Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, visited
Washington, sometime ago, he was not received by the US
Secretary of State, but by a lesser official.
According to the doctrine of reciprocity, the Nigerian
Foreign Minister “was not disposed to receive” the US
Secretary of State at the airport in Abuja.
Also security arrangements were hi-jacked by the US
mission. There is a clear usurpation of the sovereign
powers of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Nigeria-US relations should be put back on an even
keel. Applying the Mosaic law of “an eye for an eye and
a tooth for a tooth.” would not be helpful.
I affirm that health-care is human rights. CNN and other
US media seem to be enamoured with Mr. Limbaugh’s
diatribes, which he airs, in concupiscent fashion. His
fixated views are crudely expressed in undiplomatic,
inelegant prose, which hurt more than an abominable
His childhood seems to have been turbulent and
distressing. In his old age, he and other political
mal-contents seem decided in turning his country into a
land of crafty despotism by alleging socialist moorings
by the Obama administration.
Recently, he has learned to stir up hate using jest and
McCarthyism cannot be revived and the Ku Klux Klan,
White Brotherhood, having been converted by the HOLY
SPIRIT, now pursues sublime and graceful projects.
Health-care, a human right cannot be stoked into
sensations about money and speculations. Reasonable
Americans must turn away from stern despots riding on
whirlwind and thunderclaps, standing on lonely sinking
sand, brandishing their hate effigies.
Disturbing reports about gun-totting hoodlums, talking
menacingly, in reaction to the President’s policies,
need to be taken seriously.
Limbaugh’s hate noises are growing louder, drenching
President Obama, with harsh words from a watering place.
For this, he has drawn a lot of flak from the Christian
But since most Americans love jokes and trivia, Limbaugh
may continue to find some NERDS, who will continue to
clap. The man, Limbaugh, whose youth appears to have
been repressed by adenoids, seems to have grown up in
the bosom of a conservative family, linked by echoes of
the Ku Klux Klan.
I would end this piece on my Pencom & co story. It is
making the rounds that PENCOM & Co rightly invested
funds on shares, but unfortunately, the Wizard of OX,
waved the magic wand and pronto….!
The shares craze has resulted in bad economic management
in the micro economic sect.
I must appeal to the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank
to be very sure about the move against major banks in
Nigeria. The Bank’s intervention in financial
contractual relations must be meticulously vetted with
the Boards and stakeholders.
The international financial standing of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria may be irremediably damaged, if we
lump the genuine borrower and businessman with the
unserious and gold-diggers. The CBN should err on the
side of caution.
On PENCOM&Co, I refused to believe that our pension and
gratuities had been used for speculative ventures until
SANUSI&Co hinted that one cannot relish a boiled egg, in
which one has expressed doubts.
Since I believe that MY REDEEMER liveth, HE will not
allow financial speculators, jeep-riding Damaging
Directors to use my hard-earned gratuity to be an object
May their shadows ever grow less
If they were ever taught by teachers
May they become idiots, forgetting all they learned
May their children never pass examinations
As an intercessor, I call on GOD ALMIGHTY to dethrone
All those, who have detained a pensioner’s only means of
liveli-hood in this MAMMON-CONTROLLED, AGBATA-EKE
REPUBLIC of ours,
The EFCC will confront them. The EFCC will pursue them
and the wrath of the MOST HIGH GOD will not relent for I
am a Priest forever according to the Order of
My GOD will ever be mindful of His Covenant. In the
past, HE dealt with my enemies.
In pursuit of my hard-earned gratuities, HE will deal
with all those, who have wickedly with-held my funds.
My LORD, My GOD do not keep silent
Oh GOD of my praise
For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the
Have opened up against me……
Set a wicked man over him
And let an accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is judged let him be found guilty
And let his prayer become sin
Let his days be few
And let another take his office…..
Because he did not remember to show mercy
But persecuted the poor and needy man…….”
He will know no mercy.
The diplomatic faux pas, the injustice of the
non-payment of my pension, are issues that need amicable
Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic
Chancellor, BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW Bureau, Abuja, FCT,
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