Metro

Group Decries Alleged Maltreatment, Illegal Detention of 35 Nigerians in Ghana

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A group, Concerned Citizens Rights (CRC) has called out to the Nigerian Federal government to help secure the release of 35 Nigerians who are being maltreated and illegally detained in Ghana.

In a letter written to the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri, and signed by its National President, Dr. Olusegun Adeola, the group alleged that the rights of Nigerians are being abused in the Ghanaian town of Aflao on the border between Ghana and Togo.

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The group informed the Nigerian Government that the level of maltreatment being meted out to Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities was appalling, saying many of the victims were locked up without due process and no set release date.

The group said the situation was appalling especially in the light of the recent demolition of several buildings within the Nigerian mission compound in Accra. It thereafter pleaded with the Diaspora Commission as well as the Ghana High Commission and the Consulate-General in Abuja and Lagos to intervene in the situation and secure the release of the Nigerians.

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The letter which was also sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama read;

“Available information corroborated the fact that about 35 Nigerians are currently detained some, for more than 45 days in unsanitary conditions in the arrival hall and other locations, which can better be described as ‘concentration camps.’ They sleep on a bare concrete floor without food, and with just one toilet for all genders.

“To make matter worse, both men and women are cramped in one camp, sleeping together in flagrant violation of the detention code and convention. It was reliably informed that huge sums of money are also sized from traders among them by the immigration officers under the facade of ‘save keeping’.

“While being held incommunicado, they were made to pay 300 cedis each under duress to the immigration officers. Their phones and ECOWAS Passports were seized and without the opportunity of reaching out to members of their family since they left home, who may not even know their whereabouts, situations and circumstances currently.

During investigation, we gathered that when some frustrated ones among the detainees complained after more than 30 days in detention, they were beaten, tortured and told, “you will die here.” They were told their offence was entering Ghana illegally, even when there was unfettered movement across borders as contained in the ECOWAS charter that bonded member states.

“These are people who have always seen Ghana as a sister country to Nigeria and Nigerians and who have previously been coming in and out of Ghana on business trips, believing they are covered under the ECOWAS Protocol Agreements”.

The group reiterated that no offense committed was worth the treatment being meted out to the Nigerians who are being kept in inhumane conditions without food or water.

“They daily buy their own foods and some are running out of money. Their treatment has nothing to do with COVID-19 because they have been tested and found negative for weeks and still kept together without social distancing and even face masks. There, men immigration officers escort women to private bathrooms, where the ‘prisoners’ pay for such services.”The letter concluded.

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