Sunday, 14 April 2019

Nigerian Prisoners In Togo Cry Out,Accuse Ambassador Of Negligence

Following a recent publication by Sunday Sun on the plights of Nigerian prisoners languishing in Togo Prisons, Mr. Franklin Ezeona, President Global Society for Anti-Corruption (GSAC) has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama on the unbearable condition of Nigerians in Togo Prisons.

In the letter, Ezeona called for the extradition of the Nigerian prisoners in accordance with Section 1 subsection 1 of the Extradition Act, which emanated from the extradition treaty signed by Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria in October 1984.

According to him, the representative of the Nigerian prisoners in Togo, Mr. Ben Okolie, in an emotion-laden voice complained that  the Nigerian Ambassador to Togo, His Excellency, Joseph Olusola Iji visited the inmates on  April  7, 2019.

The visit, he  claimed, fuelled more disappointment and hopelessness among the prisoners.

It was gathered that Okolie in his outcry alleged that the ambassador could not be trusted, insisting that  he has done nothing to save them from their deplorable conditions in prisons.

Okolie, revealing what transpired between the prisoners and the Ambassador on the day of his visit, stated that the Ambassador was defending the authorities of Togo Prisons and the government, claiming that the Togolese government was very lenient with them more than prisoners from other countries.

“When they complained about their sleeping conditions and lack of medical attention, he said that they should not expect to sleep well since they are prisoners.

“They gave an instance where a Togolese was convicted of same offence but was sentenced to five years while Nigerians were given 10 years. The Togolese served three years and was released while his Nigerian counterpart is still serving his 10-year jail term. They complained to him about Nigerian prisoners in Togo lying critically ill in the hospital and Nigerians are contributing money for their treatment but the Ambassador said nothing about it than telling them he brought Paracetamol to them.

“One of the women gave birth in prison but the Ambassador did not show any concern whatsoever to her plight or any of other Nigerian women prisoners.

“In this regard they are begging President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government to come to their rescue as they are dying one after the other in prison.

GSAC, in the letter dated Friday, March 15, 2019, to President Buhari and copied the Attorney General, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador of Nigeria to Togo, revealed that it was in possession of video recordings and pictures of over 200 Nigerians jam-packed in a room and forced to sleep on the floor. “The actions of the Togolese government are against the provision of United Nations Universal Declarations of Human Rights, the group said.

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