Reps seeks inventory, prompt release of Nigerians illegally detained abroad
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to take inventory of Nigerians illegally imprisoned abroad with a view to hastening their release.
The lower legislative chamber observed that Nigerian citizens were virtually in all nations of the world, making exploits in sports, technology, business, education and politics and ranking as one of the highest educated immigrants across the globe.
Dennis Idahosa (APC: Edo), who moved a motion on the need to salvage the plight of the affected migrants at plenary presided over yesterday by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in Abuja, acknowledged that, “international conventions and treaties prescribe that anyone charged with a criminal offence is entitled to fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.”
The World Bank’s estimated remittances of around $24.3billion yearly (equivalent of six per cent of the country’s GDP), according to the House, makes Nigeria one of the highest-ranking nations in fund inflow.
Submitting that the transmittals have been significant to the development of the most populous black nation, the lawmakers deplored reports of several Nigerians languishing in foreign prisons, some of whom are illegally detained, while others experience labour exploitation, poor living conditions, discrimination, sex exploitation and other forms of dehumanisation.
A 2019 survey by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD) found that some 16,500 Nigerians in foreign prisons were convicted without legal representation and unaware of their offences.
The House, consequently, implored the government to employ diplomatic means to assist wrongfully convicted Nigerians in regaining their freedom.
The legislators, thereafter, mandated the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Inter-parliamentary Relations to ensure execution of the resolution.