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Senate Express Worry Over Welfare Of Nigerians In Foreign Prisons

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… Spain, Gabon, Niger, Cameroon, Thailand Top List

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, (THEWILL) – The Senate Tuesday expressed worry over the welfare of Nigerians in foreign prisons.

It said over 776 Nigerians are serving various sentences in foreign prisons in the most dehumanizing conditions.

Data available as at December 2012 according to the Senate lists Spain as the country with the highest number of Nigerian prisoners – 395. Others include Gabon-126; Thailand-91; USA-62; Niger-30; Malaysia-43 and Cameroon-29.

In a unanimous resolution, the Senate urged relevant Nigerian authorities to as a matter of urgency intervene to press for redress and restitution on behalf of the 14 deported Nigerians that were declared innocent of the crimes they were deported for amongst a total of 27 deportees from Spain recently.

The Senate also urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Embassies across the world to be more proactive on matters affecting Nigerians, while charging that travelling Nigerians must be enlightened and educated on the need to conduct themselves properly while abroad.

The Senate resolutions were sequel to a motion on ‘’Incessant unfair Treatment and Harassment of Nigerians in Foreign Countries’’ sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Matthew Nwagwu (PDP, Imo) and 14 others.

Moving the motion, the Sponsors noted with great concern the continued unfair treatment and harassment of Nigerian travellers by foreign officials which often lead to arrests, detentions, tortures, deportations and occasional deaths.

Nwagwu said, “These harsh treatment meted out to Nigerians have gone on for too long and should no longer be tolerated.

“It is not in all cases that our citizens are guilty of the offences they are alleged to have committed.”