Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Michael Olufemi Abikoye has expressed concern over the incessant arrest and deportation of Nigerians living in Ghana.
He also cautioned the Ghana Immigration Service, GIS against the alleged tortured and inhuman treatment of Nigerians in the country.
Abikoye who met with the Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame Asuah Takyi and top officials of GIS, expressed disdain on acts of criminality involving Nigerians in Ghana, stressing that the High Commission has been working hard to curb the menace.
The envoy, however, condemned inhuman treatments and alleged torture of some Nigerians in Ghana.
While lamenting the incessant arrest and deportation of Nigerians from January 2018 to date, he said “though the GIS had linked prostitution and cybercrimes as some of the reasons for the deportation, it is improper to deport Nigerians for alleged illegal stay in Ghana”.
Abikoye told the GIS that though there are several Ghanaians living in Nigeria “but the Nigeria Immigration Service has never deported any of them back because of the belief of brotherliness between the two countries”.
The ambassador then presented to the GIS Comptroller General a copy of the Mission’s records on deportations from January 2018 till date.
The document obtained by our correspondent indicates that between the period, 723 Nigerians were deported many on alleged illegal stay, cybercrime and prostitution.
For instance, in January 2019, 81 Nigerians were deported on alleged cybercrime and illegal stay while 115 have so far been deported this month on allegation of overstay and prostitution.
Abikoye, while explaining further that Nigerians are not being fairly treated, said there have been reported cases of molestation, harassment and torture of Nigerians by the GIS officials, especially those awaiting deportation at the Service detention facility.
The envoy later showed photos of some of them who sustained injuries on their legs, arms and eyes in the process of the torture to the CG, saying the inhuman act was against the United Nations Convention against Torture.
He appealed to the CG to prevail on his officials to treat Nigerians and other ECOWAS nationals with human face, caution and not as common criminals.
Abikoye expressed his displeasure on the long detention of Nigerians in the GIS custody after proper documentation and issuance of Emergency Travel Certificate, ETC for their reparation by the High Commission and appealed that considering the poor state of the Service facility; it should expedite action in their early reparation to Nigeria immediately after the issuance of ETC.
In his response, the CG, Kwame Asuah Takyi acknowledged the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries, but explained that the GIS were being compelled to carry out reparation because of the conduct of some Nigerian nationals in Ghana.
Kwame alleged that besides engaging in cybercrime and prostitution, “some Nigerians have become laws in themselves; they do road blockages in major Ghanaian streets where they drink, fight and stab each other”.
He revealed that “this unruly behavior” which contravenes the local laws in Ghana has led to directive from higher authority for their arrests and eventual deportation of those who do not have the requisite immigration papers.
While promising to investigate alleged torture of some Nigerians, Kwame showed the ambassador a video of some nationals of Nigeria obstructing justice by preventing the officials’ vehicle of the GIS the right of way after arresting a Nigerian in Kasoa area in Central Region.
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