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Reps charge Nigerian govt to ensure release of illegally-detained Nigerians abroad

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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to ensure a rapid intevention into the plight of Nigerians who are currently in illegal detention abroad.

This came in the wake of the adoption of a motion by Rep Dennis Idahosa (PDP-Edo) on the floor of the House on Thursday, in Abuja.

Idahosa further buttressed the need to know the exact number of Nigerian citizens being detained in foreign prisons.

Idahosa noted that Nigerian citizens were in almost all countries of the world, making exploits in sports, technology, and business.

He noted that due to the large population of the Nigerian diaspora community, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) was established to provide for the engagement and protection of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Read also: Falana writes Buhari to sanction Navy boss over 40 Nigerians detained illegally

He said that the international conventions and treaties prescribe that anyone charged with a criminal offence, is entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time.

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, the lawmaker noted.

He said that some of them did not know why they were in jail, while calling on the federal government to employ diplomatic means to assist Nigerians who were wrongly convicted and are being detained in various prisons abroad.

The House, therefore mandated the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Inter-Parliamentary Relations and diaspora, to ensure compliance.

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