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Nigeria protests assault of diplomat in Equatorial Guinea




AS African nations come to terms with and try to find a lasting solution to xenophobic attacks against their citizens in sister-states, the recent brutal physical assault by an Equatorial Guinea policeman on a Nigerian diplomat has raised fears that a solution may not have been found for the problem.

The Nigerian diplomat, Noah Ichaba, Agredo Admin del Consulado de Nigeria of the Consulate General was allegedly beaten up by a policeman, although he possessed his official documents and permits issued by the Equatorial Guinean authorities.
In protest against the beating, the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Bata, has written the authorities of Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of External Affairs, to demand that attacks on Nigerians and Nigerian diplomats in the country should stop.

An apology was also demanded for the attack on the diplomat.

Ichaba holds the Diplomatic Identity Card Number 399/2014 which is valid through December 16, 2015, but the document was allegedly not recognised by the policeman who demanded for his resident permit.

The policeman was said to have tried to tear the card but could not because it was laminated. He was only able to squeeze it.

“As a show of disregard for the status of the diplomat and his human rights, the police went to drag him out of the taxi and physically assaulted him, causing him facial wounds.

“This unfortunate incident demonstrates the unfair treatment which even our nationals often receive at the hands of policemen and it is now being extended to diplomats which is a violation of diplomatic immunity accorded diplomats by Vienna Convention.

“The Consulate-General of Nigeria wishes to express its outright dismay for the action of the policeman and demands for an unreserved apology and the host authorities guarantee of its diplomats’ safety in the country”, the statement read.

Giving a personal account of his ordeal, Ichaba said: “It was in the day, early morning of Saturday 16th May 2015 when I was on my way to Cinco Market when the driver stopped at a traffic point around Cruce Ntobo roundabout .

“Suddenly an Equatorial Guinea policeman emerged at about 09:50 hours local time and started speaking to the driver in Spanish, after which he turned to me and I told him that I do not understand Spanish but that I speak English.

“My excuse did not impress him as he raised his voice in anger.

“The best I could do was to remain silent , watching , wondering in my mind what the shouting and anger were all about.

“At this point, the third occupant who was in the back seat of the car, tapped my shoulder and exclaimed (Documento! Documento! Paper!)

“Understanding what he meant, I brought out my Diplomatic Identity Card issued to me by the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Equatorial Guinea and showed it to the policeman.

“Instead of taking a look at my ID card, he spoke to the driver who in turn demonstrated by the use of his hands, that I should get down.

“I asked to know why since Mercado Cinco is my final destination.

“By this time, the irate policeman had opened the door of the car where I sat , demanding that I should come out and I asked: ‘ Why are you arresting me?’

“I went on to open my ID card to show him my photograph, telling him that I am a Nigerian and that the Diplomatic card was issued by the Equatorial Guinean government .

“In anger, he snatched it from my hand, squeezed it and gave me a slap on my face. He pulled me out of the car and began to hit and kick me ,using his head, hands and legs in the full glare of the multitude of onlookers.

“When he noticed that I was losing strength and become weak as I struggled again and again and fell on the car, he decided to hold back his temper.

“His temper had reduced somewhat and from that point, I was able to make contact by putting calls across to officers of the Consulate and they rushed to the scene of the incident.

“To say the least, the policeman has demonstrated fact that a foreigner has no right as he beat me mercilessly to his satisfaction before leaving me with a bruised face, swollen mouth and general body pain.
“It is now obvious from the sudden and violent way that my assailant attacked me , that my saving grace was that he had no gun.

“If he had one, nothing could have stopped him from pulling the trigger and shooting me dead,” Ichaba added .

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  • citiguy12

    Sorry o. But no be so Nigerian Mopo and police, navy and soldiers dey beat Nigerian citizens in Nigeria without consequence? Its an African problem, diplomatic and more.

    • Ralf

      No, in Nigeria, they, ll prostrate for a foreigner bt beat d shyt out u, a fellow Nigerian. Hehehehe

      • john jones

        Love this

    • Rev

      Nigeria is an exceptional country in the African conference…NEVER you compare Nigeria with other African nations.

  • MCK

    What exactly are we doing in this backward places for God’s sake?

    • Foa

      This man should have at least learnt a bit of Spanish. He has no excuse. I leaned French vigorously yet I’m not a serving diplomat. He should have asked to be posted to an English speaking area since he speaks only English and he does not want to change with the times

      • Ralf

        Tht does not still exonerate d fact tht he was physically abused by a policeman. ..Speaking local language or not…

        • Rev

          Just listen to the man who calls himself Foa…That is exactly the thinking that gives quasi nations like Equatorial Guinea the audacity to make guinea pigs out of citizens of this great nation, Nigeria!

          • john jones

            I couldn’t have said it better

      • john jones

        You are pathetically …. for saying the diplomat should learn Spanish. Your argument would have been tenable if the rouge policeman had been given a diplomatic identification card written by his government in English. What is the bush policeman’s excuse for not recognizing a document issued by his own government.

    • Rev

      The gentleman in this report is a diplomat…But unfortunately also, the bad government of people like IBB, Abacha drove millions of Nigerians into exile in many foreign unprintable, unnamed lands….
      These rogue leaders will be punished by God!
      And to add salt upon injury, the pre-existing conditions that drove many Nigerians into exile continues to worsen…
      Lord have mercy!

  • Ralf

    I will never visit any other African country in my life again…The last i visited was ivory coast in 1998…Nowadays,??..Mba o (No way

  • Rev

    Even a handicapped Nigerian has more value than the presidents of many nations!!! Let us respect fellow Nigerians!!!

  • sasga

    Then let’s recall our ambassador. Then they will respect us. This can’t happen to a US citizen and Obama won’t react immediately by recalling US ambassador.

  • Tayo AWOKOYA

    Why is our Country so soft on it’s neighbours, simply closing our borders is enough to ruin any of these other Economies, they all rely on us! All you get is noise @ the National Assembly, and some sympathy cries! Oh l miss- our penultimate Foreign Minister – Amb Ashiru, he showed the South Africans, that Nigeria does have a Govt that Cares and could equally bite!

    • Rev

      Sir our forefathers taught us to be our brother’s keeper…and so shall it be…

  • Rev

    It will be an a first class abomination if Equatorial Guinea is not reprimanded for this gross violation. That scoundrel of a police officer must be taught a lesson…
    That is if the report is true…
    We are watching…!

  • Nelson

    That is a sad commentary on our country’s management of diplomatic affairs. Our Foreign Affairs Ministry must first immediately invite Equatorial Guinea’s Ambassador to Nigeria explanation. Then, the Ministry must demand proof of arrest and prosecution of the drunk, primitive and brutish Equatorial Guinean “policeman”. The diplomat must receive compensation from that country’s government. It is high time our foreign ministry get serious about fighting the cause of Nigerians in the diaspora, be it diplomats or private individuals. Recall the charismatic, though short, tenure of Dubem Onyia as Minister of State, Foreign Affairs. Such policy traits should be revived and encouraged.

  • Odus

    The Foreign Affairs Ministry no nothing about their country laws talkless of international law. In Nigeria, it is not what you know but it is WHO you know! Diplomats are political appointies. I agreed that the language barrier shouldn’t be a reason to strike a person. But think about it, what are you representing Nigeria for; in a foriegn when you don’t speak the language and how do you report back home of your experience? It’s hard to judge this case by just the Nigerian Diplomat’s story without hearing from the other side. I have a feeling the Diplomat was probably arrogant on the day of the incident and probably claiming is IMMUNITY proudly. (e.g. I AM A DIPLOMAT OF THE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO ME) ( I KNOW MY PEOPLE!!!)
    How do you interact with the host nation and how do they interact with you? If you can’t fluently communicate in the language of your host country (same goes for the EG Diplomats in Nigeria).
    A fluent speaker of the native language would have help in this situation. Lesson learn learn; I am very sure there are more qualified candidates that speaks Spanish fluently but were pass over for this job because they are not connected. Therefore, appoint base on experience and language skill for the benefit of both country.

  • Nuridin Adams

    Nigeria is a civilze country compare to all this banana small nations. foreingners and fellow africans have no regard for us but we accept them and treat them right. Close our border for a day and they will be in a mess. We need a tough foreing polcy to make them respect us.