Reps urge FG to secure release of illegally detained Nigerians abroad
The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to intervene and secure the immediate release of Nigerians who are currently being detained illegally in the various prisons outside the country
The House, in addition, wants the Federal Government to use diplomatic means to assist Nigerians who were wrongly convicted and were being detained in various prisons abroad.
The resolutions were adopted following a motion on the need to ascertain the number of Nigerian citizens being detained in foreign prisons sponsor by Hon. Dennis Idahosa (Edo-APC).
Moving the motion, the lawmaker said, “the House notes that Nigerian citizens are in almost all countries of the world, making exploits in sports, technology, business, education and politics and have been ranked as one of the highest educated immigrants in foreign countries.
“The House notes that due to the large population of the Nigerian diaspora community, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) was established to provide for the engagement and participation of Nigerians in the Diaspora in the development of Nigeria.
“The House is aware that International Conventions and Treaties prescribe that anyone charged with a criminal offence is entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
“The House is also aware that the World Bank estimated remittances of around 24.3billion per year and 6% of the country’s GDP, thereby making Nigeria one of the highest-ranking countries of the world in remittances inflow
“The House is cognizant that the remittances of Nigerians living abroad have been of significant impact in the development and economic growth of the country.
“The House is worried about reports that many Nigerians were languishing in foreign prisons, some of whom were being illegally detained, while some were exposed to labour exploitation, poor living conditions, discrimination, sexual exploitation and other forms of dehumanizing treatments.
“The House is worried that from a 2019 survey report by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD), about 16,500 Nigerians who were in prisons outside the country were convicted without legal representation and without knowledge of why they were in jail.”
When the motion was put into voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Hon Idris Wase, who presided over the plenary, it was unanimously supported by the members.
The Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diaspora Affairs were mandated to ensure compliance.
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