The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Michael Abikoye, on Tuesday protested the deportation of Nigerians from Ghana, calling it inhuman treatment of Nigerians by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Abikoye to have said this at a meeting between him and the Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame Takyi, in Ghana, with report obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The High Commissioner said 723 Nigerians were deported on alleged illegal stay, cybercrime and prostitution between the January 2018 and January 2019.
According to him, 81 Nigerians are deported on alleged cybercrime and illegal stay in January, while 115 have so far been deported in February on the allegation of overstay and prostitution.
The High commissioner cautioned against inhuman treatment of Nigerians by Ghana, warning that any form of torture or ill treatment of Nigerians would not be acceptable to Nigerian Government.
He said, though the High Commission would not condone any form of criminality on the part of Nigerians, saying inhuman treatment and alleged torture of some Nigerians in Ghana would no longer be tolerated.
“Although, 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.
“There are several Ghanaians living in Nigeria and the Nigeria Immigration Service has never deported any of them on ground of illegal stay, because of a sense of brotherliness between our countries,” he said
The Ambassador, therefore, presented to the CG a copy of the Mission’s records on deportations of Nigerians from January 2018 till date.
He expressed displeasure that Nigerians were not being fairly treated, stressing that there had been reported cases of molestation, harassment and torture of Nigerians by GIS officials, especially those awaiting deportation at the GIS’s detention facility.
The Ambassador also showed photos of some of them who sustained injuries on their legs, arms and eyes in the process of the torture.
According to him, 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 displeasure on the long detention of Nigerians in the GIS custody after proper documentation and issuance of Emergency Travel Certificate for their repatriation by the High Commission.
He appealed that considering the poor state of the GIS’s facility; the Ghana Immigration Service should expedite action in their early repatriation to Nigeria immediately after the issuance of Emergency Travel Certificates.
In his response, the CG acknowledged the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries as earlier pointed by Abikoye.
According to Mr Takyi, the GIS are being compelled to carry out repatriation because of the conduct of some Nigerian nationals in Ghana.
He alleged that besides engaging in cybercrime and prostitution, “some Nigerians had become laws in themselves; they do road blockages in major Ghanaian streets where they drink, fight and stab one another.
“This unruly behaviour” 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.”
The CG, however, promised to investigate alleged torture of some Nigerians.
He, however, showed the Ambassador a video of some Nigerians, obstructing justice by preventing the official vehicle of the GIS the right of way after arresting a Nigerian in Kasoa area.
TABLE TURNED: 1983 DEPORTATIONS OF GHANAIANS FROM NIGERIA
Some thirty-six years after Nigeria asked foreigners, including Ghanaians, to leave the country, that was in 1983, the table has turned and Ghana is deporting Nigerians in droves.
There is a Ghana Must Go Bag pictured above: Trademark bag used in Nigeria to remember the 1983 order by Nigerian government that Ghanaians must go back to their country.