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CSOs raise alarm over ill treatment of Nigerians at Greece embassy

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
17 November 2022   |   6:18 am
A coalition of Civil Society Organizations under the auspices of Citizens Rights Advocate (CRA), has tasked the House of Representatives Committees on Diaspora, Foreign Affairs and other relevant committees to investigate allegations of ill-treatment against Nigerians at the embassy of Greece in Abuja.

*Calls on lawmakers to probe allegations

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations under the auspices of Citizens Rights Advocate (CRA), has tasked the House of Representatives Committees on Diaspora, Foreign Affairs and other relevant committees to investigate allegations of ill-treatment against Nigerians at the embassy of Greece in Abuja.

The group also called on the Greece Ambassador to Nigeria, Ioannis Plotas, to investigate alleged nefarious activities going on at the Consular section of the embassy.

The group has alleged that Nigerians with genuine visa applications are indiscriminately denied visas by the consulate, some of whom include political office holders.

The Executive Director of the coalition, Hammed Saheed, who made the allegations yesterday in Abuja, called for the immediate redeployment of the Lead Consular of the Greece Embassy in Nigeria, Loannis Nikolaidis.

He said: “Nigerians who visit Greece Embassy for genuine business or to process their visa are treated like criminals under the leadership of Mr Nikolaidis as the Head of Consular Section in the embassy.

“This is pathetic and sad. The United Nation’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, advocates the protection of the fundamental rights and freedom of every human being, and the Embassy is currently violating such rights.”

The coalition decried fundamental rights breach and the fact that nothing has been done to reverse the unsavoury trend. He added that while some Nigerians are referred to at the embassy as criminals, some others are accused of possessing fake documents.

“It is so sad that Nigerians are not treated with dignity in their own country. They chase many Nigerians out of the embassy like criminals and touts”, Saheed said.

While calling on the Greece Ambassador to quickly address the situation, the group feared that if not immediately curbed, such a negative trend may jeopardize Nigeria’s bilateral relationship with Greece.