9,000 Nigerians in foreign prisons, says FG

BY Henry Umoru

…To resists £3,000 UK visa bond
ABUJA—THE Federal Government, Thursday, disclosed that over 9,000 Nigerians were presently languishing in prisons abroad, with the largest number of 752 in the UK, while most of the rest are in prisons in the Asia-Pacific region.

The government also vowed to take appropriate measures against the controversial £3,000 bond to be imposed on Nigerian visa applicants to the UK if it comes to fruition in November.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, spoke with journalists, yesterday, after briefing the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the activities of the ministry in the last two years.

Gbenga Ashiru, Foreign Affairs Minister and Prime Minister David Cameron

Gbenga Ashiru, Foreign Affairs Minister and Prime Minister David Cameron

He also said that the ministry was investigating the circumstances surrounding the sack of the Nigerian Acting Chief Justice of Gambia, Joseph Wowor, who was alleged to be soliciting bribe over a case.

According to him, the country would not defend any Nigerian that breaks laws of other countries, but assured that the ministry will look into the case to ascertain whether any form of highhandedness was use against him.

Ashiru said: “We believe in due process and the rule of law. We believe in the judiciary, where our Chief Justice is working round the clock to sanitise the judiciary.

“The case in Gambia is being looked into and if there is any case of highhandedness or what ever, the Nigerian government will look into it and take necessary steps to ensure that the interest of Nigeria is protected.

“We are all living witnesses to the fact that where any government in Africa unduly takes action against a Nigerian, the Nigerian government will act appropriately.

“We have various ways to do that. We have done it in the past and we will continue to do it.

“One of our own principles is that we will stand up any where in the world, especially where it is a case of victimisation or injustice.

“However, when a Nigerian wilfully plans to commit a crime, then he is on his own because we don’t support criminality, indiscipline or breaking the laws of any country.”

On gay marriage
Ambassador Ashiru added that over 16 billion US dollars came into the country from Nigerians in diaspora.

He said Nigeria stands firm against gay rights, warning the United States and United Kingdom to desist from trying to impose gay rights in the country since “our laws, traditions and customs are against it.”

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