Reps urge FG to secure release of Nigerians detained illegally in prisons abroad

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to intervene and secure the release of Nigerians who are being detained illegally in prisons abroad.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep Dennis Idahosa (PDP-Edo) on the floor of the House. on Thursday, in Abuja

In his motion, he stated that there was need to ascertain the number of Nigerian citizens being detained in foreign prisons.

Idahosa noted that Nigerian citizens were in almost all countries of the world, making exploits in sports, technology, and business.

Other areas, he said include education and politics, adding that Nigerians had been ranked as one of the highest educated immigrants in foreign countries.

He noted that due to the large population of the Nigerian diaspora community, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) was established to provide for the engagement and protection of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

He said that the international conventions and treaties prescribe that anyone charged with a criminal offence, is entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time.

This, according to him is by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

He stated that Nigeria was one of the highest-ranking countries of the world in remittances inflow, adding that the remittances of Nigerians living abroad have been of significant impact in the growth of the country.

He stated that from a 2019 survey report by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD), about 16,500 Nigerians who are in prisons outside the country were convicted without legal representation.

He said that some of them did not know why they were in jail, while calling on the federal government to employ diplomatic means to assist Nigerians who were wrongly convicted and are being detained in various prisons abroad.

The House, therefore mandated the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Inter-Parliamentary Relations and diaspora, to ensure compliance. (NAN)