Members of the House of Representatives have raised an alarm over the trend of Nigerians being illegally detained in prisons in foreign lands and asked the Federal Government to secure their release.
This was raised by lawmaker representing Ovia South West/Ovia North-East federal constituency of Edo State, Dennis Idahosa, when he spoke on the need to ascertain the number of Nigerians detained in foreign prisons, during plenary on Thursday in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said he was concerned about reports that many Nigerians are languishing in foreign prisons, some of whom are being illegally detained, while some are exposed to labour exploitation, poor living conditions, discrimination, sexual exploitation and other forms of dehumanising treatments;
“Worried that from a 2019 survey report by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEPAD), about 16,500 Nigerians who are in prisons outside the country were convicted without legal representation and not knowing why they are in jail”, he stated further.
In moving the motion, Idahosa drew the attention of his colleagues to the International Conventions and Treaties which prescribed that anyone charged with a criminal offence was entitled to a fair hearing, within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
He noted that the remittances of Nigerians living abroad have been of significant impact on the development and economic growth of the country.
The house, in its resolution, therefore urged the Federal Government to intervene and secure the release of Nigerians being held illegally in prisons abroad.