Members of the House of Representatives have alerted the country over a rising trend of Nigerians being illegally held in detention in foreign countries.
The House asked the federal government to facilitate the release of those who are illegally detained abroad.
This was as a result of the motion raised during plenary by Dennis Idahosa, representing Ovia Federal Constituency on Thursday, over the need to confirm the number of Nigerians detained in foreign prisons.
The Lower chamber of the National Assembly further admonished the federal government to intervene and secure the release of Nigerians being held illegally in prisons abroad and also resolved to mandating the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Justice and Inter-Parliamentary Relations, to ensure compliance with the resolution reach.
Before the resolution, they noted that Nigerians were in almost all countries of the world, making exploits in sports, technology, business, education, and politics, and have been ranked as one of the highest educated immigrants in foreign countries.
They added 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 participation of such persons in the development of the country.
While he was moving the motion, Idahosa drew the attention of his colleagues to the International Conventions and Treaties which prescribed that anyone charged with a criminal offence was entitled to a fair hearing, within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
“Cognizant that the remittances of Nigerians living abroad have been of significant impact in the development and economic growth of the country; concerned about reports that many Nigerians are languishing in foreign prisons, some of whom are being illegally detained, while some are exposed to labour exploitation, poor living conditions, discrimination, sex exploitation and other forms of dehumanising treatments; worried that 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 and not knowing why they are in jail,” the lawmaker said.
He added that he believed the federal government needed to employ a diplomatic means to assist Nigerians wrongly convicted and being detained in various prisons abroad.