Group urges FG to intervene in Nigerian prisoners’ plight in Togo
A group Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC), has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the plight of over 200 Nigerians allegedly languishing in various prisons in the Togo Republic.
It said those held on suspicion of criminal activities were not being charged or tried for years, ranging from six to 10 years, adding that there was evidence of “over 200 men, believed to be Nigerians, locked in a room and made to sleep on their foot.”
The organisation said prisoners had health challenges and could die in their custody if urgent medical attention was not given to them.
President of GSAC, Mr. Franklin Ezeona, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, entitled: “Demand for release of Nigerian Citizens held in Togo prisons without trial,” alleged some prisoners were held, following random arrests or over a dispute between them and Togolese.
“Some were arrested at Togo border on their journey to or from Ghana and have been in prison without charge for over five years. These prisoners are not given food, drinking water, and their health is not taken care of…”
“While we clearly hold that these actions are unlawful, the Togolese government’s actions are against the provisions of the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (ICERD) 1965 and all international laws guiding human rights policies,” he said.
Ezeona, who recalled an earlier letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that prompted the visit of the Nigerian Ambassador to Togo to the prisoners last year, stated that nothing had happened since then, to change the ugly situation of the prisoners.
He said it was disheartening that relatives of Nigerian prisoners were not allowed to have access to them, explaining that they had joined the organisation to plead that they be extradited to Nigeria to conclude their terms.