Representatives call for identification and release of Nigerians in foreign prisons


The House of Representatives has called for the identification and release of Nigerians imprisoned in other countries around the world.

The House in particular urged the federal government to “intervene and secure the release of Nigerians illegally detained in prisons abroad”, while instructing the committees on foreign affairs, justice and interparliamentary relations to ensure compliance. of the resolution.

In Thursday’s plenary session, the House unanimously adopted a motion presented by Mr. Dennis Idahosa, entitled “Need to determine number of Nigerian citizens detained in foreign prisons”.

Moving the motion, Idahosa noted that Nigerians are in almost every country in the world, doing feats in sports, technology, business, education and politics and were ranked as one of the most educated in foreign countries.

According to the legislator, due to the large population of Nigerians in the Diaspora, the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission was established to ensure the engagement and participation of Nigerians in the Diaspora in the development of Nigeria.

He also noted that international conventions and treaties prescribe that anyone accused of a criminal offense has the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

Idahosa pointed out that the World Bank estimated remittances at around 24.3 billion naira per year and 6% of the country’s GDP, making Nigeria one of the top-ranked countries in the world for remittances.

According to him, the remittances of Nigerians living abroad have had a significant impact on the development and economic growth of the country.

However, he said, “The House is concerned about reports that many Nigerians are languishing in foreign prisons, some of which are illegally detained, while others are exposed to labor exploitation, poor living conditions, discrimination, sexual exploitation and other forms of dehumanization. treatments.

“The Chamber is concerned that from a 2019 investigation report from the Legal Defense and Assistance Project, approximately 16,500 Nigerians who are in prisons outside the country have been sentenced without legal representation. and without knowing why they are in prison.

“The Chamber believes that the federal government should use diplomatic means to help Nigerians who have been wrongly convicted and who are being held in various prisons abroad.”

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